Tag Archives: narcissistic patterns

Do Narcissists Love Themselves?

It’s Narcissist Friday!  

Time for some review. It is easy for me to forget that new readers may not have read all the posts of this blog and perhaps a little more than presumptuous to think that anyone would try. So occasionally I need to restate some of my perspective on the subject of narcissism. This is especially true when posts from this blog are reposted to other sites and when dealing with a topic that generates such cultural excitement.

So my recent post on narcissistic friendships was challenged by someone who, in effect, said that narcissists don’t have friends because they love themselves too much. No one would be attracted to them because of their self-focus.

This idea that narcissists love themselves is something we need to challenge. We understand that it certainly looks like they love themselves. They boast about their accomplishments, treat others as inferior, and assume that everyone should listen to and respect them. They expect others to praise them, serve them, and defer to them. Their lack of empathy and tendency to judge others negatively makes it looks like they love themselves only and greatly.

Consider this: true self-love should be manifested in confidence, rest, and security. A person who is completely in love with who he is, content and assured in himself, should not be concerned about the ideas or achievements of others. If someone disagrees with him, he should simply shrug it off. If someone takes credit for something, he should be undamaged. If someone else succeeds, he would have no reason to be jealous or defensive. The person who truly loves himself should be at peace with himself and with the world around him.

So how well does that describe your narcissist? I’m sure that there are some who appear to pull this off, but most of the narcissists I have met have been very quick to get angry and easily offended. They seem to hate the accomplishments of others and are quick to criticize and condemn. Those who disagree with the narcissist are often ruthlessly attacked and even humiliated. Narcissists are usually very competitive, especially for attention and praise. They are envious, arrogant, and abusive.

Does that sound like someone secure in love for him or her self?

A few years ago I posted an overview of the clinical and practical definitions of a narcissist, one from the DSM-IV and the other from Dr. Nina Brown. Here’s the link to that post: What is a Narcissist?  Look it over and see if this describes a person in love with himself.

The literature of narcissism is widely agreed that the narcissist is insecure in himself and, based on that insecurity, has produced and promoted an image of superiority in order to distract others from the inferior and vulnerable self. The narcissist sees himself as unacceptable and weak, but attempts to cover that by hiding behind this grandiose image. Thus, he becomes adept at making friends, manipulating people, and gathering support. The image is attractive, charming, confident, strong, and exceptional. But that’s not the way the narcissist thinks of himself. He worships the image more than anyone else. He depends on the image, is addicted to the image, needs the image. And he needs you to worship the image with him.

Those who counsel narcissists find them to be evasive and dishonest. They usually leave counseling when the counselor gets close to the truth. Those who work with or live with narcissists should understand that they want you to think that they love themselves and believe that you should love them too. Otherwise, you might discover the truth.

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More Narcissists?

It’s Narcissist Friday!  

 

 

“When all you have is a hammer, everything is a nail.”

 

The old saying means that we tend to explain life by the tools we have learned, even if we have to make things fit from time to time. Once we learned about narcissism, we started seeing it everywhere. It explained so much about the various relationships of our lives. In fact, the culture seems overrun with narcissists.

So what do you think? Do we really have a narcissistic culture? Several books have been written suggesting that our nation and our culture has become narcissistic. Is this thing large and growing, or are we just seeing it more because we are more alert?

Well, I think both are true. We are beginning to see it, to experience it in our relationships, but not just because we know what to call it. Narcissism has been around for a long time, and there are more narcissists now than ever before.

Before I explain why I think that narcissism in our culture is growing, let me give a very brief overview of my perspective. Narcissism is a learned response to stress, a way of coping with fear and anxiety. In the midst of such struggles as abandonment, conflicting expectations, and severe family dysfunction children must find ways to cope. Some of them learn to hide what causes them pain, their hearts. They push others away to the point of depersonalizing them. Nothing can hurt, no one can cause pain, if no one is real. These children learn that they are on their own in life, that they should entrust themselves to no one, and that they either win or die. Not all children choose this way to cope, but those who do see no other options. Thus the narcissist is born.

I have always believed that narcissistic behavior is a choice. But it may not be a current choice. It may be the natural behavior of someone who chose to cope with life that way many years ago. It can be unlearned, but there must be serious desire and willingness to really look at both causes and alternatives. Few will do what it takes. Every failure, every disappointment becomes support for the narcissist to choose his old behavior.

 

I believe narcissism is more prevalent today because the things that create and support it are more prevalent. Consider some of these:

 

  1. Pressure produces narcissists. Financial and environmental stresses are hard on families and today’s families experience more separation, more divorce, more abandonment. Teachers report that fewer children come out of traditional families every year. Many children are under almost constant stress. Many parents came out of dysfunction and have few skills and little interest in promoting the emotional well-being of their own children. If narcissism is a learned way of coping with childhood stress, we will almost certainly continue to see more narcissists.

 

  1. More people=more relationships=more stress. While I have never been an advocate of population control, I do believe that we are only beginning to adjust psychologically to the greatly increasing numbers of people around us. We complain regularly about the traffic, the job situation, the crowded airports, and the violent crime rates. All of these are part of the growing number of people in our culture.

For the narcissist, survival in a growing population can be accomplished only by more hiding and more victimization. Only when the people around are viewed as tools, toys, or obstacles does the narcissist find ways to cope. We may think that the narcissist is encouraged and blessed by the growing supply, the people to use, but he is also afraid and his need to use others is increased. For the child who wants to hide to protect himself, adding more people does not help.

 

  1. Empathy doesn’t pay. Let’s face it. We do live in a culture that rewards narcissistic behavior. Those who are ruthless are seen as committed and energetic. Those who use others are progressive and able to get the job done. The company CEO who can fire thousands of workers and find a way to cheat them out of their pensions is rewarded with a multi-million dollar severance package even when the company struggles. It doesn’t pay to think of others as people, to worry about their needs. It only pays to give the appearance of success. This is the narcissist’s world.

 

  1. Computers and computerized thinking have reduced all of us to numbers. For a computer, a name is just the same as a number in the code. A story is just a formula, a set of parameters. A life is just a file. And computers run our world. Health care, work, stores, law enforcement, mass transit—all of them see us as numbers. We are depersonalized and narcissists know how to live in a depersonalized culture.

Even more, depersonalized people tend to depersonalize others. Notice the check-out clerks at the stores. Many of them are gruff, tired, mechanical; and, as you walk away from them, you feel the same way. I have often chuckled at the bumper sticker, “Caution: Baby on board!” Can you imagine any driver today who would see that and say, “Oh, I will have to be more careful with my driving”? What would the narcissist say?

I realize these thoughts may be depressing, but there are things we can do. We may not be able to change a culture, but we can understand the need in the hearts of others, particularly children. Don’t be afraid to reach out and help. Encourage people. Smile more and laugh more. Be a little extra kind to the waitress or the clerk. Wave at the policeman. Express your appreciation and gratitude. Help in children’s ministry and show that you care. Visit those who are lonely. Treat others as people, the way you would want to be treated. (Sound familiar?) A narcissistic culture needs love.

Most of those who read here have been hurt by narcissism. Perhaps, as you heal, you can find ways to combat the monster just by trusting in the Lord and living out of your health. Most people are not narcissists and don’t want to be narcissistic. They just don’t want to be afraid and hurting. Your little acts of love and kindness might be far more profound and effective than you can imagine.

A culture is simply the general thinking of the people, the values and lifestyles and beliefs they live with. But that doesn’t have to include every person. And one can make a difference, if only to one more.

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The Mystery

It’s Narcissist Friday!  

Some of us are old enough to remember when telephone answering machines had two cassettes. One was for the incoming message and one for the outgoing. The one for the outgoing message was an endless loop. It lasted only a few seconds or a minute and you had that amount of time to record your message. (I was going to mention the early talking dolls with similar tapes, but then I remembered the ones with the little records in them and I started feeling old so I stopped.)

I learned something about how the memory works a while ago. For years, every time I fried some eggs I would remember a restaurant in Kansas City where I had a good breakfast. I kept trying to figure out why I thought of that every time. It wasn’t a bad memory, but not a great one either. It just became connected to frying eggs.

I puzzled about this, until I listened to a recording that mentioned the phenomenon. The explanation was surprisingly simple. The memory can be triggered almost at random. We simply find ourselves thinking about something. But when we puzzle about the connection between that memory and what we are doing, the puzzle becomes a memory on its own, a much more recent one. So, after the first time this came up while I was frying eggs, I remembered it as a puzzle the next time. I couldn’t figure out the connection before and it felt unresolved. Wanting resolution, my mind connected the two almost every time from then on.

So the idea is that unresolved conflicts, puzzling events, mysteries—these things stay in the front part of our minds because we want them settled. The problem is that our mind doesn’t really know when and how things get settled.

Narcissism is puzzling. Narcissists do things that don’t make sense. You know the questions. Why did he do that? Did I do something to cause this? Is she really that cruel? Didn’t she hear what she said? Did she mean to cut so deep? What kind of person does that? The more questions surround the narcissistic relationship, the more we long for resolution.

So strong is this desire for closure and understanding that we will often make assumptions about the narcissist or the situation just to try to settle our minds. We hear that many narcissists suffered as children. Oh, that explains it, we tell ourselves. We hear that narcissism is a mental illness and suddenly we think we have an answer. Or someone tells us that we just aren’t loving enough and we grab the statement as truth. But explaining narcissism isn’t usually that easy. His childhood wasn’t that bad. Narcissism is not a mental illness. You are a loving person. So now how do you explain what happened?

This seems to come up a lot in narcissistic friendships or short intimate relationships. They are often like drive-by shootings, dangerous but random. But those in long-term narcissistic relationships ask many of the same questions. Why? How does this make sense?

Ever wake up in the morning with an unexplained bruise? It hurts and it is dark on your skin, but you don’t remember hitting anything. So you puzzle about it; and, when you think about it, you rub it. When you rub it, it hurts. When it hurts, you think about it more. And on and on. The pain reinforces the question, aggravates the puzzle, in your mind. Narcissists cause pain and sometimes, in situations that continue, that pain keeps going. The best way to handle the unexplained bruise is to ignore it. If you stop rubbing it, it will probably go away. (Now, I know that some unexplained bruises are indications of more serious internal problems, but we will let the analogy stand as it is.)

Sometimes you have to let the mystery go. Force yourself to move on. Sometimes there are no answers for you to find. As we move through our days we sometimes bump into things. It happens so often we don’t usually remember it. And sometimes, as we move through our days, we meet people whose brokenness moves them to use and hurt others. The mystery of their brokenness belongs to them, not us. We may never understand why they do what they do.

So let me give a practical suggestion: Do what you need to do to protect yourself and to find health. Establish boundaries, create distance, find support. Then give the mystery to God.

As I get older I learn more that mysteries belong to God. We even have a simple saying, “God only knows.” Sometimes that’s true. Only God knows the answer you are looking for. And He knows that you don’t really need it. You just need to move on. Wipe the dust off your feet and don’t look back (you know those are both Biblical references?). Leave the puzzle, the anomaly, the question, with God.

Once I understood why I thought about that restaurant as I was frying eggs, that there was no real answer for the puzzle, I could let it go. It still happens once in a while, but I mostly shrug it off. The mystery is gone.

Once you believe that you will never really understand the narcissist in your life, that his or her actions have little to do with you, you can let it go. Every time the puzzle comes up, give it to God. Thank Him for taking the mystery and trust Him with it. Then shrug your shoulders and go on with your day. Don’t let narcissism be an endless loop of focus in your life.

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Why is that person your friend?

It’s Narcissist Friday!   

 

A commenter recently asked an obvious question of another: “Why do you think that person is your friend?”  That rang a bell in me.  There are times, when reading the stories people send me, that I ask something similar in my heart.

Why do you think that person is your friend?

Why would you keep putting yourself through this?

Why did you think that person loved you?

Why don’t you just walk away?

Outside the situation, things seem so much more clear.  We read a story and the details are so contrary to anything that makes sense to us.  The narcissists are so cruel, so persistent, and so obvious that we want to grab the writer and help her/him run away.

But it isn’t that easy inside the relationship.  We know this because of our own situations.  We can look at others with logic and reason, but our own circumstances seem different.  They are filled with emotions and complications.

 

So let me take a bit to work through what happens in a friendship.  I suspect that friendship seems like the easiest narcissistic relationship to deal with—from the outside.  Those who grow up with narcissistic parents feel that they are stuck forever.  Those who are married to narcissists have to do a lot to get out of the relationship.  Those who encounter narcissists at work or otherwise professionally don’t usually have the power to remove the person from their lives.  But we all think the person with a narcissistic friend should be able to just walk away.

Very few people go through life interviewing strangers to see if they would make good friends.  Friends are rarely chosen methodically or even carefully.  Instead, friends come to us through circumstances, coincidences, or common interests.  We inherit them, they come with the job, or we suddenly discover them by our side.  Before we know it, the person has spent enough time with us and we have shared enough of ourselves that we think of him/her as a friend.

And few of us have ever really considered a definition of friendship.  We think we know it when we see it; but, when a friend turns against us, we are surprised and wonder if he/she was really a friend.  Even then we don’t take the time to sort out what we mean by a friend.

So without a careful way of choosing friends and without a helpful definition of a friend, we go through life gathering people into our circles.  We think of them as comrades, co-workers, acquaintances, colleagues, and associates.  Someplace along the line a few of them become something more—friends.  We assume they value the relationship in the same way we do.  We would miss them if they were gone if for no other reason than that they have become a part of our lives.

We acknowledge that there are different kinds or levels of friendship, but we still don’t think about it much.  A friend on Facebook is different from a friend from school days or a friend we confide in, but the overlap we allow is amazing.  We live in a culture where friends we have never met except online know more about us than friends who have walked with us through many trials in person.  Our culture speaks of “friends with benefits” or “friends in business” or “friends online” without regard to the conflicts inherent in the terms.

All of this is a way of saying that we have not been taught to be careful about whom we call or consider a friend.

So, when the narcissist comes along, we don’t have a guard up because we don’t think about guarding ourselves.  I have written often about the narcissist super-power, that amazing ability to manipulate what others think of them.  The narcissist might not even need a super-power to become a friend, but it gives her the ability to jump quickly past any fuzzy barriers we might have and get right into our hearts.

I suspect that the real reason it is hard for those in narcissistic friendships to end the relationship is that they can’t fully understand how they got into the relationship in the first place.  They might know the details, but they don’t understand the feelings.  All the red flags were there, the things others mention are true and should have been obvious from the start, but some kind of fog or deception took place.

Remember how narcissists work.  They look for people who are open.  Those who are lonely, sad, angry, frustrated, or afraid.  They manage to share a common cause or life circumstance.  Then they begin to tell you secrets (which may not be true) about themselves and get you to tell your secrets to them.  Pretty soon, they know much more about you than others and they know how to manipulate you.  You find yourself giving them your time, energy, even money—when you don’t want to.

So why not just walk away?  It seems obvious that this is one narcissistic relationship that could end easily.  Yet, it isn’t all that easy.  The narcissist knows too much.  By the time the victim realizes that the relationship is toxic, the hooks are firmly in place.  The narcissist knows how to threaten, how to plead, how to place guilt and shame, and all kinds of other manipulative methods.

Yes, you should walk away from a narcissistic friend.  Yes, you are being used.  Yes, you will be hurt again.   No, it will not get better.

It is possible to get out.  Set boundaries and maintain them.  Say no and mean it.  Don’t believe the lies, no matter how sweet they sound or how they tweak your heart.  Don’t blame yourself for being deceived.

And, for the rest of us, remember that the narcissist has to work harder to rule over a friend who can walk away.  Much harder than a boss or a parent or a spouse.  The narcissist must convince the victim that he is a lover and necessary in the victim’s life.  A narcissist knows how to do this very well.

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The Wheel

It’s Narcissist Friday!  

 

I recently discovered something many of you may already know about: the Power and Control Wheel. This may be a very helpful tool to print out and share with others who are trying to understand the reality of abuse other than physical or sexual. It’s from a group in Duluth, Minnesota, called “Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs.” I know little about the group, but I think their illustrations look helpful.

PowerandControl

I might have some things to add to the wheel. For example, under “Isolation” I would add moving away from family. And for our purposes, I might remove the words “Physical VIOLENCE Sexual” on the top and bottom of the wheel. I suspect their point is that these kinds of control often lead to violence, but it may be misleading for some. Many of the folks we deal with have experienced neither type of violent abuse, but are still truly abused by their narcissists. You might see other things you would add or change.

 
All in all, I think this could be very helpful as something to give a person you suspect is a victim.

 
Another wheel has been produced in contrast to the Power and Control Wheel. The word is overused and loaded with political connotations, but it is called “The Equality Wheel.” It gives a contrasting picture to show what a loving and reciprocal relationship would look like.

Equality

From time to time I hear from people who wonder if their relationship is abnormal. As they describe what happens, it is easy for me to see that theirs is a broken and, possibly, narcissistic relationship. But they can’t see it as clearly. When you are in the midst of this kind of relationship, perhaps for many years, you simply see what is normal for you. The verbal and emotional abuse is just part of your life. Or if you come from a narcissistic home, you may not realize that this kind of cruelty isn’t something everyone experiences.

 
But it isn’t. Many people have good relationships with family, friends, and spouses. The pain suffered in narcissistic relationships is not normal, nor is it right. Maybe these wheels will help someone to see that their pain indicates that something is wrong.

 
I could see someone giving these to a friend, perhaps to explain your own spousal or friendship relationship. Or maybe you have the opening to ask the person to examine their own relationships in this light. Maybe someone will have the courage to copy these and post them on the church bulletin board. ;)

 

You should be able to click on these jpg files to enlarge them or to print them for your use.   I would love to know your thoughts about how you might use them.

 

There is blanket permission on the website to copy and distribute these images. The site is: http://www.theduluthmodel.org/index.htm

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Confrontation!

It’s Narcissist Friday!  

 

“People who confront the narcissist always lose.”

 

What do you think? Is that a true statement?  It certainly seems true, doesn’t it?  Only enter the fight if you are prepared to get beat up.  To confront the narcissist on behavior or attitude is to walk dangerously.

If you are reading this, you probably understand. It might be at work where you confront the narcissist about the lies he has told about you.  It might be a parent who has always put you down.  It might be a friend who takes advantage of your time and energy.  Or it might be a spouse or lover who is often cruel and uncaring.  But when you point out how they hurt you, you end up hurt again.

Somehow it is all your fault. You started it.  You deserve it.  You are the real culprit.  If you hadn’t done what you did, this never would have happened.  You should be thankful the narcissist puts up with you at all.  On and on and on.  By the time it’s over you wish you had never dared.

Then you feel like crap. Sorry for the vernacular, but that’s the way it is.  You built up your courage, gathered your nerve, prepared your words—and got creamed.  And this isn’t the first time.

So what do you do? Simple justice seems to demand that the narcissist be confronted.  She has to be told that she is hurting you.  He has to have the boundaries made clear.  They ought to be stopped.

But here’s the problem: the narcissists either already know they are doing something that hurts you or they simply don’t care. All your energy seems out of line to them.  They don’t understand why you are attacking them, since they have done nothing wrong.  Again, you deserved it.  To the narcissist, it is almost hypocritical of you to challenge them for their cruelty when it was your own fault.

 

And     so     you     go     slowly     crazy.

 

But understand that this is not your problem. You are not the crazy one.  This is how narcissists generally deal with confrontation.  Whether it is the boss, the mother, the neighbor, the police officer or anyone.  Even the counselor.

To the Officer: “Yes, Officer, I see your point. Thank you.  I appreciate your diligence.”

To you: “That jerk!  If he didn’t have that badge I would have pushed his words down his throat.  Who does he think he is giving me a ticket?”

Even when it seems that the confrontation works, it still doesn’t. There may be limited success.  He might shut up for a while.  She might walk away.  But they really don’t understand your anger and don’t care about your point.  They can’t see you as a real person whose emotions are valid.  Your anger, your sadness, your joy—they don’t understand them the way you might understand the emotions of others.

 

Back to the question: What do you do? Here are some ideas:

  1. Do what you must. If you must say something, do it. It will feel good to get it out, no matter how it is accepted.
  2. Plan for failure. There are times when it is right to do something even if you know ahead of time that it won’t work. Maybe someone else will hear and understand your point, even if the narcissist doesn’t get it. If you plan for the narcissist to avoid or miss your point, you might not be as hurt when he/she does.
  3. Accept small victories and benefits. Sometimes a confrontation can set up a boundary. Sometimes the narcissist will be set back and have to take a different tack. That can be good.
  4. Or you don’t have to confront at all. Why put yourself through that if you don’t have to? Set your boundaries and maintain them without confrontation. The narcissist will probably try to use confrontation if you seem to want to avoid it, but walking away or staying silent can be a very effective strategy.

 

Confrontation is hard and narcissists usually choose victims who hate it in almost any circumstance. It is hard because you see the other as a real person and you don’t want to hurt them, nor do you want to fail to get your point across.  Just know that your desire to confront and your struggle with confrontation are okay.  They’re normal.

So I have attached a little video that seemed to illustrate what happens when we try to confront the narcissist. I apologize in advance for the “dumb criminals” part.  You are neither dumb nor criminals, but the narcissist is usually as hard as bulletproof glass!

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Insidious

It’s Narcissist Friday!  

 

A friend is dying of cancer. I hate cancer. Cancer is sneaky. It lies in wait and pops up to ambush a person. It doesn’t care whether you are young or old, married, have children, have unfulfilled dreams, or anything. It just hides until it surprises you.

 

Oh, there are signs. A cough. A lump. An itch. A pain. A weariness. Little things that make you wonder. But it is so easy to shrug those signs off and just keep going. Sometimes people even go to the doctor, but the cancer is so small that it isn’t detected . . . yet. But it’s there, waiting. It’s insidious.

 

Insidious.   Seems to me that’s a good word for narcissism also. It means to wait, as in ambush. It comes almost directly from the Latin term. The idea, in Latin, is to sit waiting. The enemy in hiding. The enemy in our midst, not quite identifiable. You can almost feel that something is wrong, but you can’t see it or touch it. It might be right around the corner, or the next. Then, suddenly, it’s there.

 

That lady in church who welcomed you with such kindness. You notice how others seem to let her have her way. You notice that she is much better at getting others to work than she is at doing work herself. The more you get to know her, the more you realize that she speaks a little too freely about others. You begin to wonder if she speaks that freely about you. You have trusted her with private information, but now you begin to worry. Insidious.

 

The young man was so full of love and attention. He was polite and patient and thoughtful. At times it seemed like he was courting you instead of your daughter. She seemed so lucky and so happy. Just because she started wearing her hair differently and she sometimes wouldn’t tell you where they were going, you weren’t worried . . . at first. After a while, when he left his good job because “they didn’t know how to use his talents,” you began to see a different side of him. Soon he and your daughter were living in another state and she never called or emailed. That’s when you saw that you were ambushed.

 

Insidious. I could tell story after story. Husbands and wives; in-laws; co-workers; leaders; friends. People who seem great at first. Even when you begin to see the little things, they seem benign. But the cancer waits and grows.

 

Some people grow up with narcissism. It surrounds them from their earliest memories of parents, grand-parents, or siblings. What seems so obvious to outsiders just seems like regular life to these folks. Nothing is wrong, but everything is wrong.

 

Others have narcissism creep up on them. They enter into relationships with kindness and hope, never suspecting that an abuser sits waiting for an opportunity. It might be at work, where a co-worker tries to take your position or clients. It might be at church where the narcissist decides you are the one that needs their control. It might be an intimate relationship where you thought there was only love. Insidious.

 

So what do we do? Well, we do the same thing we do with cancer. We watch for the little things and pay attention. We tell others about the reality of narcissism and teach them to watch for the signs. Not every unkind act or selfish focus is an indication of narcissism, but we can watch. Patterns begin to emerge, evidence accumulates, and maybe we can act before the damage is done.

 

Sometimes aggressive treatment does work against cancer. Sometimes a change of diet or the right medicines or simple surgery can reduce or eliminate the effect of cancer. In the same way, catching certain behaviors or attitudes early in a relationship can allow us to build defenses, watch even more closely, or escape before things get bad.

 

And I have noticed an unexpected relief for some people who are diagnosed with cancer. Finally they have an explanation for being tired or for that pain that won’t go away. Finally the whole thing makes sense. Again, in the same way, those who have grown up knowing the pain of narcissism sometimes find a relief in naming the insidious enemy. They always knew something was wrong—their family was not like others—but now they know what it is. It doesn’t make it go away, but naming it brings both explanation and options.

 

Parents can talk with sons and daughters about the warning signs of a narcissist. Bosses can learn, as can pastors. Marriage counselors and therapists are beginning to see the truth. Narcissism no longer hides as easily in our society. More of us are sounding the alarm.

 

Yes, narcissists are adaptable, just like cancer. They adjust their tactics and hide differently so we have to be alert. Certain regimens will help. Clear and strong boundaries. Acceptance of ourselves and our uniqueness. Trust in the leading and love of the Lord.

 

We may never eradicate narcissism and it might still surprise us from time to time, but the battle is not the same. Narcissism may continue to be insidious, lying in wait to abuse, but we are watching for it.

 

We are no longer unaware.

 

 

 

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