Friday, January 26, 2007

The Danger of Narcissism

There's a new set of articles on the Main Site under The Danger of Narcissism. Subtopics are Predation, Manipulation, Protecting Ourselves, and Meting Out Trust.

It's a bad/good news kind of thing. Predators, like narcissists and psychopaths, do a tremendous amount of harm and are dangerous in many ways.

But did you ever notice (on nature programs) how animals in the wild seem to take them in stride?

Predators are only dangerous when they get too close. In the great majority of cases, we can keep them from getting too close. And they are usually easy to discourage if you do so immediately, in their first "testing" of you. For, they are wary of you on their first approach. If you aren't naive, they're gone, off in search of easy prey.

So, these people would do vastly less harm if everyone were well enough informed to know that there are predators among us and that we therefore must pay attention, notice and heed signs of bad faith, and mete out trust to others appropriately.

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At 11:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi friends , i had to just take a break from the subject-does anyone know what i mean?-so i apologize for not being up to speed w recent postings. i need help. and kathy, our angel, your article today is pertinent for me. i have disengaged from my spouse quite nicely-same house no interaction-for some time now. nutshell- he was being a real prick- we backed away- he caught on- has been ever since- middle kid turned 18- bucking mom- i challenged her back- she cries to dad- mr rogers/peace maker man is calmly gathering information- the whole fricken family his side plays sides he said she said game- dad wants us to be able to talk (lovingly my ***)so we can coparent (not in forever) our poor little daughter- who when no one else hears he bad mouths her choices barely hiding his rage- then turns around and acts like joe counselor(i'm going to scream soon)around everyone else and her. AND I'M STILL the only one doing the real parenting crap, while she will undoubtedly not know what to make of things but will sensibly take the least uncomfortable path. and now he just got a free refill on his almost empty N S tank. can you hear my frustration? can you tell what i'm up against? do i need to go on? oh please HELP ME!!!!!love jt

At 7:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Kathy

This is so true. My husband tells me that in Bram Stoker's 'Dracula' a vampire can't enter of his own accord - you have to invite him in.

Also, I think the new section is terrific.


At 9:33 AM, Anonymous gh said...

JT -- I so hear you! It's hardest when there are kids involved and you feel like the N is turning them against you. I firmly believe, though, that while your daughter may lean toward the least uncomfortable path right now -- ans she certainly is at that age! -- in the long run she is going to appreciate if you remain the responsible parent and don't get sucked in to competing for her attention. Part of being a teenager is challenging your parents, testing out your blossoming independence, pushing and getting pushed back. Frankly, it's just not all that satisfying to a young adult to just get her way -- she's going to appreciate you pushing back (appropriately) down the road, though you're probably the one etting all the fight now. Heck, chances are she's just cozying up to Dad now as a tool in her interaction with you, "Can I break you, Mom, by playing up to Daddy?" (And wouldn't the ol' N just die to realize he was being used that way!) When she sees that you have the self-respect not to play the game, you help her to respect you and ultimately herself in a healthy way. Hang in there!

At 2:09 PM, Anonymous dandelion said...


I second gh's comments. Also try to make use of N-husband's desire to look like the good dad/good family man by pointing out that parents don't do their kids any favors by letting them do whatever they want (or whatever phrasing you want to use). I have found if I say things authoritatively and repetitively enough, he eventually starts acting that way (although he fights me on it at the time). Hang in there.

At 1:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thankyou so much your replies brought relief. my shoulders dropped for a little while- that's where all the stress goes-literal pain in the neck:) i have realized i'm always ready to duck.and that pain in my back is probably from all the little stabs. he really is a coward. but even scared animals sometimes lash out. passive aggressive signs are out on display too. if i can only keep my wits about me. you guys help tremendously. jt

At 1:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

your words on the daughter are full of wisdom too! jt


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