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How to Protect Yourself Against Narcissists

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posted on May, 16 2016 @ 08:52 PM
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By Brené Brown

"The author of Daring Greatly explains how a new definition of the self-obsessed can help us deal with them more effectively."

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www.oprah.com...
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In 2011, a group of researchers conducted a computer analysis of the three decades of hit songs. The researchers reported a statistically significant trend toward narcissism and hostility in popular music. In line with their hypothesis, they found a decrease in usage of words such as we and us and an increase in I and me.
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The researchers also reported a decline in words related to social connection and positive emotion, and an increase in words related to anger and antisocial behavior, such as hate or kill. Two of the researchers from that study, Jean Twenge and Keith Campbell, authors of the book The Narcissism Epidemic, argue that the incidence of narcissistic personality disorder has more than doubled in the United States in the last 10 years.
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. . .
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. . . What almost no one understands is how every level of severity in this diagnosis is underpinned by shame. Which means we don't "fix it" by cutting people down to size and reminding folks of their inadequacies and smallness. Shame is more likely to be the cause of these behaviors, not the cure.
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Labeling the problem in a way that makes it about who people are rather than the choices they're making lets all of us off the hook: Too bad. That's who I am. I find it far more helpful, and even transformative in many instances, to look at the patterns of behavior through the lens of vulnerability. For example, when I look at narcissism through the vulnerability lens, I see the s[h]ame-based fear of being ordinary. I see the fear of never feeling extraordinary enough to be noticed, to be lovable, to belong or to cultivate a sense of purpose. Sometimes the simple act of humanizing problems sheds an important light on them, a light that often goes out the minute a stigmatizing label is applied.
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I think that Dr Brown makes several good points.
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It's a complex topic. Yet, I think she's right to note that shame is an underlying foundation of narcissism--shame birthed out of ATTACHMENT DISORDER.
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And, likely, attacking a narcissist as 'inherently' self-absorbed, grandiose, power hungry, greedy, demanding etc. is not likely to help a lot, if any.
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True, their behaviors that leave them coming across that way to others need to be seen, understood and overcome. They likely need to dramatically increase their personal insight into their tendencies to behave in those dysfunctional ways. It's just that attacking their few feebly held coping strategies--as dysfunctional as they are--is not likely to help much and certainly not soon.
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That's more true when new ways of coping have not yet been understood and learned.
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And, it's likely that they will need a mentor, a grandmotherly or grandfatherly figure to come ALONG-SIDE of them--with a loving, gentle, and occasionally firm arm around the shoulder helping them see themselves and the world through better eyes; helping them walk out a new way of thinking and being in the world.
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Professionals can help dramatically in such regards. I don't think that they will be sufficient in many cases. An hour a week ore even 3 hours a week of rewiring one's stinkin' thinkin' may not be enough. All the more so if the individual goes right out and immerses themselves all over again in relationships that are as dysfunctional and narcissistic as they are.
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They likely need to cultivate rather soon a new list of healthier friends. And how many healthy friends are there to go around. That's a whole 'nother issue!
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Still, we do what we can. And those who are determined to overcome a dysfunctional self-absorbed, shame-filled--cowering/alternately blustering way of being in the world and relationships--they CAN overcome and experience a more fulfilling and pleasant life.




posted on May, 16 2016 @ 09:09 PM
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The reference to and discussion of Narcissism has become a favourite internet pastime. It's now the rallying cry to describe a segment of the population that is supposedly more in love with itself than generations past.

Do you have high level of self-esteem? Narcissist! Are you proud of your achievements and accomplishments in life? Narcissist! Do you have confidence and and an infectious level of optimism? Narcissist!

Yes, genuine narcissism is very ugly indeed, but simply concentrating on your own life and doing what's best for your own progression and development isn't always due to excessive self-love and adoration.

If more people concentrated on fulfilling their own potential to the maximum level possible instead of worrying about forcing others to reach an arbitrary, imaginary standard, the world would be a better place.


edit on 16/5/2016 by Dark Ghost because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 16 2016 @ 09:13 PM
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a reply to: BO XIAN

I love Brene Brown.

I have watch her Ted Talks.

She helps me make real sense out of things.

www.ted.com...
edit on 16-5-2016 by crappiekat because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 16 2016 @ 09:29 PM
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a reply to: BO XIAN




How to Protect Yourself Against Narcissists


I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.

HST



posted on May, 16 2016 @ 09:42 PM
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originally posted by: Dark Ghost
The reference to and discussion of Narcissism has become a favourite internet pastime. It's now the rallying cry to describe a segment of the population that is supposedly more in love with itself than generations past.

Do you have high level of self-esteem? Narcissist! Are you proud of your achievements and accomplishments in life? Narcissist! Do you have confidence and and an infectious level of optimism? Narcissist!


Uhhhhhhhhh, I didn't see Dr Brown saying that high self-esteem = narcissism. More the opposite. Ditto simple fitting self-respect/'pride' over one's achievements and accomplishments. Ditto confidence & optimism.

It may well be true that ignorant, not very thought-ful folks think such things. But not well read and perceptive folks. Those are hallmarks of the opposite of a SHAME-BASED existence and focus.



Yes, genuine narcissism is very ugly indeed, but simply concentrating on your own life and doing what's best for your own progression and development isn't always due to excessive self-love and adoration.


I think the key is due to excessive self-love and adoration.



If more people concentrated on fulfilling their own potential to the maximum level possible instead of worrying about forcing others to reach an arbitrary, imaginary standard, the world would be a better place.

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Certainly balance is to be sought.
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And being a busy-body trying to run other people's lives is to be avoided.
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We all have plenty of our own knitting to attend to.
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But I think that Dr Brown's article was along different lines. I saw her as advocating seeing narcissism as a shame-based malady. And to then respond with understanding and caring that helped take a narcissist by the hand and lift them out of that pit with caring and helpful modeling and guidance vs pushing them further down with rejection an unhelpful labeling.
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posted on May, 16 2016 @ 09:43 PM
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originally posted by: crappiekat
a reply to: BO XIAN

I love Brene Brown.

I have watch her Ted Talks.

She helps me make real sense out of things.

www.ted.com...


Yeah. I think she's very up-beat, clear, perceptive, caring, accurate and a great communicator.

And I think her topics are important ones for our era.



posted on May, 16 2016 @ 09:57 PM
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a reply to: BO XIAN

Guilt cannot exist without shame.. If they just added that to the equation...


Guilt and shame sometimes go hand in hand; the same action may give rise to feelings of both shame and guilt, where the former reflects how we feel about ourselves and the latter involves an awareness that our actions have injured someone else. In other words, shame relates to self, guilt to others. I think it's useful to preserve this distinction, even though the dictionary definitions often blur it


We are all narcissists



posted on May, 16 2016 @ 10:01 PM
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a reply to: BO XIAN

Very much a communicator.

And I feel her honesty.



posted on May, 16 2016 @ 10:05 PM
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a reply to: BO XIAN

I was under the impression that narcissism was a spectrum .We all have it to a degree but it is the Narcissist that lacks the empathy to consider others before the self first and foremost . I have learned one thing and that is that if you are on to their game and are not going to play you won't be bothered by them ......They seek and need a response but in a way that they are in control .....As long as you are feeding them they will return ..Better to pity their condition then them personally .imo



posted on May, 16 2016 @ 10:05 PM
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a reply to: BO XIAN

Your personal comments were way better than the article you quoted. Just saying.



posted on May, 16 2016 @ 10:21 PM
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originally posted by: PanPiper
a reply to: BO XIAN

Guilt cannot exist without shame.. If they just added that to the equation...


Guilt and shame sometimes go hand in hand; the same action may give rise to feelings of both shame and guilt, where the former reflects how we feel about ourselves and the latter involves an awareness that our actions have injured someone else. In other words, shame relates to self, guilt to others. I think it's useful to preserve this distinction, even though the dictionary definitions often blur it


We are all narcissists


Good points.

HOWEVER, there is EARNED guilt and UNEARNED guilt that is born out of a history--particularly the first 6-8 years of life--of abuse and/or neglect--at least INSUFFICIENT, INADEQUATE LOVE & HEALTHY AFFECTION--where the child LEARNS dysfunctionally to FEEL guilty WHEN THERE IS NO EARNED guilt.
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Of course, we all make plenty of mistakes being human--so there's always something we can ascribe the IMPUTED guilt to--whether it is rational or a fitting attribution, or not. It's even easy to grow up feeling guilty for breathing air and taking up space. That's horribly dysfunctional, maladaptive and crazy making.
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And, abusive, !!!CONTROL!!! freak parents and other authority figures are happy to manipulate folks through unearned guilt dynamics and habit patterns.
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It can take tons of therapy and improved healthy, positive relationships to overcome that sort of past level of dysfunctional living.
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imho, blaming folks in stern, tyrannical, prissy, harsh and unfitting ways for things they are not responsible for is one of the most cruel ways people treat one another. It can result in folks hiding in their bedrooms and not coming out for decades.
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Certainly where guilt IS earned, one needs to confess one's errors, apologize/repent and do what one can to make things right. But that's not well taught, either. Too many people want to blame, BLAME! BLAME!!! . . . then flush the person concerned, walk over the top of them and then ignore them--leaving them as a mangled pile of shredded emotions and personal identity in the gutter. That's no way to treat a fellow human being.
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posted on May, 16 2016 @ 10:21 PM
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originally posted by: crappiekat
a reply to: BO XIAN

Very much a communicator.

And I feel her honesty.


Yes. I think her candor and honesty come through loud and clear and add umph to her messages.

I think she's well worth most anyone's time.



posted on May, 16 2016 @ 10:23 PM
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originally posted by: the2ofusr1
a reply to: BO XIAN

I was under the impression that narcissism was a spectrum .We all have it to a degree but it is the Narcissist that lacks the empathy to consider others before the self first and foremost . I have learned one thing and that is that if you are on to their game and are not going to play you won't be bothered by them ......They seek and need a response but in a way that they are in control .....As long as you are feeding them they will return ..Better to pity their condition then them personally .imo


I think it's fair to say it is a continuum. I don't think I'd say that everyone qualifies for some level of narcissism. I've known folks who seemed to have very little to none of it.

Certainly feeding the trolls is a good way to keep them around afflicting one. Better to not play their game, for sure.

Thanks for your kind reply.



posted on May, 16 2016 @ 10:24 PM
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a reply to: BO XIAN

everything needs to be in place before you hit puberty.. Or its just another animal..



posted on May, 16 2016 @ 10:24 PM
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originally posted by: angeldoll
a reply to: BO XIAN
Your personal comments were way better than the article you quoted. Just saying.


Am humbled and honored by your kind words. PTL.

I do try earnestly to add something of value.

Thanks.



posted on May, 16 2016 @ 10:25 PM
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originally posted by: PanPiper
a reply to: BO XIAN

everything needs to be in place before you hit puberty.. Or its just another animal..



Certainly, if it's NOT there by then, there's hell to pay.

But it really needs to be in place before the age of 6.

The time to solve teen problems is age 0-6.

Otherwise it's playing catch-up and usually a losing game of catch-up.



posted on May, 16 2016 @ 10:29 PM
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a reply to: BO XIAN

Out with the whip!!!!



posted on May, 16 2016 @ 10:40 PM
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a reply to: PanPiper

Not in my house.

I think, on average, harsh beatings indicate that the battle was lost at the early nurturing stage by inadequate parenting; inadequate attachment.



posted on May, 16 2016 @ 10:43 PM
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a reply to: BO XIAN

i agree



posted on May, 16 2016 @ 10:57 PM
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originally posted by: Dark Ghost
The reference to and discussion of Narcissism has become a favourite internet pastime. It's now the rallying cry to describe a segment of the population that is supposedly more in love with itself than generations past.

Do you have high level of self-esteem? Narcissist! Are you proud of your achievements and accomplishments in life? Narcissist! Do you have confidence and and an infectious level of optimism? Narcissist!

Yes, genuine narcissism is very ugly indeed, but simply concentrating on your own life and doing what's best for your own progression and development isn't always due to excessive self-love and adoration.

If more people concentrated on fulfilling their own potential to the maximum level possible instead of worrying about forcing others to reach an arbitrary, imaginary standard, the world would be a better place.

This^

Bro, you deserve a thousand stars for that post:-)! I don't like the thought of feeling guilty for success...



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