Saturday, March 31, 2007

Narcissistic killer gets 60 years...

Paul Weinstein (Left, husband of Kathleen Stanfield Weinstein) reads a statement during the sentencing of Michael LaSane, (standing at right) in Superior Court, Toms River, New Jersey in the courtroom of Judge James N. Citta.

LaSane gets life plus 60 for '96 abduction, killing
By DONNA WEAVER Staff Writer

TOMS RIVER — The Ocean County man convicted of carjacking and killing a Middletown schoolteacher who secretly recorded their conversation was sentenced Friday to life plus 60 years in prison.

Michael T. LaSane, 28, “has a narcissistic personality,” Superior Court Judge James N. Citta told the courtroom Friday. “He's exhibited sociopathic tendencies, and he has no conscience or concern about doing wrong. He's exhibited that from the time he set out.”

Prosecutors said LaSane kidnapped Kathleen Stanfield Weinstein, 45, in March 1996 to give himself her car for his 17th birthday, the next day. He then drove to a remote wooded area, bound Weinstein's wrists and ankles with duct tape and smothered her with her own clothing.

“LaSane's design and plan was to not leave any witnesses,” Citta said. “He did not plan to let Kathy Weinstein live. She hoped against hope, but I think she knew, too, that he wasn't going to let her go.”

Citta cited LaSane's likelihood to commit another crime — even murder — if he were released as one of the many reasons he imposed the maximum sentence on all counts.

LaSane showed no emotion as Citta handed down his sentence, which came after LaSane addressed the court.

LaSane stood, shackled, wearing red prison clothes to indicate he was a high risk inmate. He was surrounded in the jury box by several other criminals who wore tan clothing.

“I'll try to be brief,” LaSane said. “Just because there's no one in the court from my family, I would like to thank the people who have supported and prayed for me over the years. I think the best thing to do at this point in the case is to listen to what the family of the victim has to say.”

Paul Weinstein, the victim's husband, was the first to rise and face his wife's killer. LaSane stared blankly at Weinstein as he spoke.

“Eleven years and nine days ago today, Michael Tracey LaSane murdered my wife. He discarded her possessions, my son's possessions and my wife's body in the woods like it was trash,” Weinstein said.

He said that after his wife's funeral he was alone with his 6-year-old son, Daniel, and saw him grieve like no else did. Daniel Weinstein, 17, is the same age now that LaSane was when he wreaked havoc on his family's life, Paul Weinstein said.

“Unlike Michael LaSane, Daniel has grown into a fine young man,” Weinstein said. “My son said to me at 8 that he couldn't remember his mother's voice. I told him that one day he could hear his very courageous mom on a tape she made. He has not asked to hear the tape,” Weinstein said.

Daniel was not present in the courtroom during the trial or the sentencing Friday.

Mark Stanfield, the victim's brother, cried off and on during his statement.

“We have watched Kathy's son grow into manhood with the unwavering love and guidance of his mother,” Stanfield said. Stanfield said that it baffled his family how LaSane could relive his crime without showing any emotion or remorse.

“Only a cold-blooded killer could listen to Kathy's words again without any reaction. His only thoughts were how he could lie his way out of accepting responsibility for his actions,” Stanfield said.

Stanfield referred to the 46-minute microcassette recording made by his sister before LaSane smothered her. Stanfield spoke of the many chances his sister gave LaSane to change the direction of his life.

Stanfield said defense attorney James Friedman, LaSane's 11th lawyer, was right about one thing — that there were portions of the tape that will never be known.

“Mercifully, we do not hear her in her final moments. I'm sure she was not calm then,” Stanfield said.

Betty Stanfield, the victim's mother, said outside the courtroom Friday that she was satisfied with the sentence, but it does not bring Weinstein back.

“Michael needs to be in jail. It's good that he'll be locked up,” Stanfield said. “She was a good daughter, mother and sister.”

Citta said he applauded the victim's family and their dedication and trust in the justice system.

He reminded the court that LaSane acknowledged his guilt when he confessed to killing Weinstein in 1997.

“Because of a technical blip in the system he was able to retract his guilty plea,” Citta said. “That blip in the system has allowed this crime to fester, abuse and fail the victim and the victim's family.”

The jury was not informed that LaSane pleaded guilty to killing Weinstein in 1997. His plea was overturned in 2004 after it was discovered his mother, Vera Thomas, had had a sexual encounter with LaSane's public defender, Kevin Daniels.

Citta said LaSane, who was convicted earlier this month, must serve 60 years of his sentence before he can be considered for parole. The initial sentence he received when he pleaded guilty to the crime in 1997 at age 17 would have made him eligible for parole after 30 years.

Friday, March 30, 2007

This Is Not A Narcissistic Injury

I know it looks like one, but it's not. And why it's not makes every difference in predicting what will happen next.

My previous post described the modern narcissist, which is slightly different than the kind described by Kohut and others. In short, the narcissist is the main character in his own movie. Not necessarily the best, or strongest, but the main character. A narcissistic injury occurs when the narcissist is confronted with the reality that he is not the main character in his movie; the movie isn't his, and he's just one of 6 billion characters.

The worst thing that could happen to a narcissist is not that his wife cheats on him and leaves him for another man. He'll get angry, scream, stalk, etc, but this doesn't qualify as a narcissist injury because the narcissist still maintains a relationship with the woman. That it is a bad relationship is besides the point-- the point is that he and she are still linked: they are linked through arguing, restraining orders, and lawyers, but linked they are. He's still the main character in his movie; it was a romantic comedy but now it's a break-up film. But all that matters to the narcissist is that he is still the main character.

No, that's not the worst thing that can happen. The worst thing that could happen to a narcissist is that his wife cheats on him secretly and never tells him, and she doesn't act any differently towards him, so that he couldn't even tell. If she can do all that, that means she exists independently of him. He is not the main character in the movie. She has her own movie and he's not even in it. That's a narcissistic injury. That is the worst calamity that can befall the narcissist.

Any other kind of injury can produce different emotions; maybe sadness, or pain, or anger, or even apathy. But all narcissistic injuries lead to rage. The two aren't just linked; the two are the same. The reaction may look like sadness, but it isn't: it is rage, only rage.

With every narcissistic injury is a reflexive urge towards violence. I'll say it again in case the meaning was not clear: a reflexive urge towards violence. It could be homicide, or suicide, or fire, or breaking a table-- but it is immediate and inevitable. It may be mitigated, or controlled, but the impulse is there. The violence serves two necessary psychological functions: first, it's the natural byproduct of rage. Second, the violence perpetuates the link, the relationship, keeps him in the lead role. "That slut may have had a whole life outside me, but I will make her forever afraid of me." Or he kills himself-- not because he can't live without her, but because from now on she won't be able to live without thinking about him. See? Now it's a drama, but the movie goes on.

So if you cause a narcissist to have a narcissistic injury, get ready for a fight.

Saddam is not experiencing a narcissistic injury: he is still the main character in the movie. If he was sentenced to life in prison, to languish, forgotten, no longer relevant, no longer thought about, that would be a narcissistic injury-- then his rage would be intense, his urge towards violence massive. But who cares? There's nothing he could do.

But remaining the main character, he has accomplished the inevitable outcome of such a movie: he has become a martyr. Even in death, he is still the main character. That's why the narcissist doesn't fear death. He continues to live in the minds of others. That's narcissism.

I'm not saying executing Saddam wasn't the right thing to do, and I'm not sure I have much to add to theoretical discussions about judgment, and punishment, and the sentence of death. It doesn't matter what your political leanings are, what matters is we look at a situation that has occurred, and use whatever are our personal talents to try and predict the future.

I understand human nature, and I understand narcissism. And I understand vengeance. Saddam was a narcissist, but this wasn't a narcissistic injury.

This was a call to arms.

We should all probably get ready.

The Last Psychiatrist

Thursday, March 29, 2007

On Your Feelings

I address the victims of narcissistic abusers here. But this can warn their friends about how hurtful the stock responses to their pain are. If you are the friend of an abused person, don't make it worse. If you can't say what comes naturally and honestly, it would be better to say nothing at all than to say what sounds right because it's politically correct.

'He who angers you controls you.'


That popular adage does not pass a basic nonsense check. Look, it says that good boys and girls are numb so that nobody can make them feel an emotion. It is also exactly anti-logical, blaming the victim. It pathologizes you, the victim of the narcissist, instead of the narcissist.

Stuff like this is my pet peeve. Once you start noticing how much political correctness is anti-logic, you can't help but wonder (with Mark Twain) whether anybody examines an idea before swallowing it whole.

We should be more careful what we let into our minds (The Garden) than what we let into our bodies. Rot like that adage does great added harm to the victims of abuse. First the narcissist outrages you till you want to scream. Then the do-gooders come along and tell you your outrage is a sin. Now, if that ain't the Sin of Sodom (making someone bend over for it), I don't know what is.

But don't take my word for it. Think for yourself.

The reasoning goes like this: So, the narcissist's abuse is nothing to get angry about? You are to act as though it didn't happen? In other words, you are to make nothing of it, right?

Wrong. For, if it is nothing, then you are nothing. Why? Because everybody knows that if I bash an object, that's nothing, but if I bash a human being, that's something. If I step on a bug, that's nothing, but if I step on a human being, that's something.

Yet, no matter what, the do-gooders just don't get it — till they're the one that gets bashed. Then they see the degrading value judgment in making nothing of it.

By telling you to make nothing of it, they are telling you that abusing you was nothing. That means you are nothing. Indeed, if your abuser bashed your automobile, they wouldn't tell you to make nothing of it, would they? An automobile is a thing of value, so harm done to it requires reparation. But, harm done to you is nothing, eh? What a dehumanizing value judgment.

And it lands on top of the one the narcissist dumped on you. Feel better now?

First he got on your back, and now they pile on too. The holier-than-thous should be criticizing the abuser's behavior, not the victim's. There's a name for people like that, "Job's Comforters" or "troublesome comforters." [See The Book of Job.] That's what I mean when I say that people saying stuff like this do more harm than good. Pound, pound, pound, they all pound you down with that club that says Doing that to you was nothing = You are nothing. And it's a sin for you to not cover up for him by acting like it didn't happen.

Just what you needed to hear, right? So, who's side are they really on? whether they realize it or not? Hard to take, isn't it? What a heartless thing to do to someone already down.

Why can't they just break down and say that it causes them sorrow to hear what was done to you and that it really sucked? Then all they'd have to do is act like you mean something to them. Why is that asking too much? Why do you get all that other crap instead?

Sometimes I think they just don't want your sad face to rain on their day. I think it's for their sake that they want you to take Prozac. They just want you to make it go away, to act like it didn't happen.

If it's a sin to even be angry about degrading treatment, then what can you do to contradict the value judgment in it? Nothing. If merely feeling an emotion is stepping off the straight-and-narrow, what could they give you permission to do? Nothing!

Ah, it seems to me that the one whose hands they should tie is your abuser, not you. This way they are accessories to mayhem.

The more you think about it, the more ridiculous the moralizing gets, doesn't it? Parrots who get their morality from prime-time TV thus deny you the most basic human right — the right to protect yourself. Just what kind of person would docilely accept abuse? would make nothing of it? A person who thinks he or she is entitled to better treatment? A person who thinks anything of him- or her-self? A person with any self-respect? any dignity? integrity? a backbone? If you are the victim of a narcissist, you know that your anger is your assertion of your self-worth.

Sounders like to sound good by making others sound bad for not taking an affront to their human dignity as though it were nothing. Is that not rubbing the victim's nose in it? That's what it feels like. It's no longer just the narcissist abusing you, the whole world piles on to stifle your objection. This overwhelming pressure is what breaks the victim's back, forcing him to join in the zero valuation of himself. The result of this self-betrayal is self hatred. Which is precisely what drives so many victims of narcissists to needing psychiatric help themselves.

A word for those who think this is what their God wants them to do: Run a logic check on that one too. Is docilely submitting to abuse supposed to be holy? Uneducated Joan of Arc at the age of eighteen could reason that if God made her, and God doesn't make trash, she should fight to keep others from trashing her. It would be letting others trash a gift from Him.

An analogy: If God gives you a Jaguar, you show how much you appreciate his gift by letting others take a sledge-hammer to it? And He is supposed to be pleased with you for not even getting angry about it? I don't think so. Straight thinking says that those who believe in God should be angrier than those who don't. Moreover, why should the rules be different in moral rape than physical rape? Isn't the victim supposed to be outraged? If it doesn't make her mad, we say she liked it. And what do we call her?

So, if specious pontifications like the one at the top have you on a guilt trip, get off.

Feelings are not conduct. No clear-thinking person should confuse feelings with conduct. Conduct is a matter of choice. Feelings are not a matter of choice. So, the notion that feelings can be "right" or "wrong" is absurd. They just ARE, period. Indeed, if you get burned, you should feel burnt. If you don't, something is wrong with you.

Others should not judge your feelings. I do not understand why those who believe in God are the most prone to do this, for it out-gods their God (who, according to their scriptures, judges conduct only). Judging feelings is in itself a narcissistic behavior. In doing so, do-gooders are serving as a proxy for your abuser.

You can lie about your feelings. You can go into denial about them. And you can even repress them. But you cannot change them.

Denying or repressing feelings is a lie. Now that is a matter of choice, and lying is bad for you. It's self delusion. It's a kind of self-induced hypnosis to a state of emotional numbness. Not mentally healthy. Repressed feelings are merely submerged to the level of the subconscious. But the subconscious is just subconscious: it's not gone. Things buried there are still active. They influence and motivate your behavior without your knowledge. In other words, repressed feelings rule your conduct like an unseen puppet master. Thus, ironically, it is by getting you to deny your anger that the narcissist controls you.

Accept your feelings. Own them. Know them. Experience the tremendous relief and comfort in that. Then you can temper their influence on your conduct with reason and good judgment. You are responsible for your conduct — your words and deeds — not your feelings. Just because you are angry does not mean you are out of control of yourself as that stupid saying implies. It is the narcissist who has no self-control, not his or her victim.

Your anger, like any pain, will pass. If someone punches you, he is to blame for your pain, not you. By the same token, the one to blame for your anger is your abuser, not you.

Kathleen Krajco

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Narcissist couldn't handle rejection so he killed her...

Man sentenced in Ohio dancer's slaying
Saturday, March 24, 2007

NEW YORK A man was sentenced Friday to 25 years to life in prison for killing a classically schooled dancer who left Ohio to try to become a Broadway performer but wound up working in topless bars.

Paul Cortez, 26, bowed his head when he heard the sentence and avoided looking at his relatives and friends as he was led away in handcuffs.

A jury convicted Cortez, a personal trainer and would-be rock star, in February of second-degree murder in the death of 21-year-old Catherine Woods, his former girlfriend, finding that he slashed her throat in her Upper East Side Manhattan apartment on Nov. 27, 2005. Prosecutors said she had more than 20 knife wounds on her body.

"He is a murderer, deserving nothing less than life in prison," said Jon Woods, Catherine Woods' father.

Jon Woods, director of the Ohio State University marching band and former Plain Township resident, made his statement before State Supreme Court Justice Carol Berkman pronounced the sentence.

Catherine Woods had moved to Manhattan from Columbus, hoping to make it on Broadway. Instead, she wound up working in topless bars to cover her living expenses. Berkman said the primary evidence was Cortez's fingerprint in Woods' blood on a wall of the bedroom where she was slain.

"The evidence establishes that he is the author of his own tragedy," she said.

Cortez, his shoulder-length hair shorn into a military-style buzz cut, declined to speak, but his lawyer, Dawn Florio, said, "He would like the family to know he did not kill Catherine Woods and he is very sorry for their loss."

During the trial, Florio and Laura Miranda, Cortez's other lawyer, suggested that the killer was David Haughn, Woods' former boyfriend from Columbus, Ohio, who was living with her when she was slain.

The defense claimed Haughn, 25, was enraged by jealousy because Woods was seeing Cortez and other men. But during the trial, defense lawyers never offered proof that Woods was intimate with anyone other than Cortez and Haughn.

Assistant District Attorney Peter Casolaro said that, at the time of Woods' death, Haughn had gone to get his car to drive Woods to her job at a strip club. Cortez saw him leave, then went in and killed the young woman, Casolaro said.

Casolaro said Cortez killed Woods because she was dumping him, and "because this violent, narcissistic misogynist couldn't handle rejection."

"I'm glad it's over," Haughn said as he left court.

Cortez's mother and other relatives avoided reporters.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Millennials can make a difference

We are selfish, we are narcissistic and we are self-centered. These are just a few of the words that have recently been used to define our generation, a trend that one researcher believes could harm our personal relationships and the very society we live in.

The comments come from Jean Twenge, a professor at San Diego University in a book titled, “Generation Me.” Twenge claims that we (the millennials, those born between 1981-1999) are prone to depression, self-destruction, violence and civic decay as we grow older. Maybe she should take a closer look at her findings.

While Twenge claims surveys of more than 16,000 college students, the largest study of its kind, prove that we are more narcissistic and self-centered than our predecessors, the evidence just doesn’t add up. In reality, we are positive, confident, optimistic and have a strong regard for our parents, friends and the communities we live in.

We have grown up in an age of renewed faith in the family and several surveys indicate that we are very close to our moms and dads. The numbers claim we share our parent’s values or have little or no problem with any of our family members – a little hard to believe at times maybe, but nonetheless a good sign. The survey also found that many millennials want to live near their parents later in life.

According to the National center for Education Statistics, more students are enrolled in college today than our counterparts thirty years earlier. The data shows that the number of undergraduates in 2004 (17.3 million) was almost double that in 1970 (8.6 million).

More proof that Twenge’s claims don’t hold strong comes from The Christian Science Monitor, which reports that since 1994, the rate at which people under age 25 commit serious violent crimes has fallen by more than 60 percent. Additionally, the rate of pregnancy and abortion for girls under age 18 was down by roughly one-third since the mid-1990s, and cigarette and alcohol consumption in grades 8, 10 and 12 are now at their lowest levels since the survey began in 1975.

Our generation also has a strong work ethic and believes volunteering and giving back to our communities are top priorities. A study of more than 260,000 college freshmen released last year by UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute found that 66.3 percent of freshmen surveyed said it is "essential or very important" to help others. That is the highest percentage in 25 years.

We are the generation to watch. We are the generation who relies on iPods, Facebook and instant messaging, but the truth be told, we should be proud of ourselves. We show determination, confidence, creativity and courage and have a chance to become on of the greatest generations in history. Prove Twenge wrong and go out make a difference in the world.

Article Date: March 07, 2007

Monday, March 26, 2007

Self-centered egos on the rise

By David Crary Associated Press

March 8, 2007 - Today's college students are more narcissistic and self-centered than their predecessors, according to a comprehensive new study by five psychologists who worry that the trend could be harmful to personal relationships and American society.

“We need to stop endlessly repeating ‘You're special' and having children repeat that back,” said the study's lead author, Professor Jean Twenge of San Diego State University. “Kids are self-centered enough already.”

Twenge and her colleagues, in findings presented at a February workshop in San Diego on the generation gap, examined the responses of 16,475 college students nationwide who completed an evaluation called the Narcissistic Personality Inventory between 1982 and 2006.

The standardized inventory, known as the NPI, asks for responses to such statements as “If I ruled the world, it would be a better place,” “I think I am a special person” and “I can live my life any way I want to.”

The researchers describe their study as the largest ever of its type and say students' NPI scores have risen steadily since the test was introduced in 1982. By 2006, they said, two-thirds of the students had above-average scores, 30 percent more than in 1982.

Narcissism can have benefits, said study co-author W. Keith Campbell of the University of Georgia, suggesting it could be useful in meeting new people “or auditioning on ‘American Idol.'”

“Unfortunately, narcissism can also have very negative consequences for society, including the breakdown of close relationships with others,” he said.

The study asserts that narcissists “are more likely to have romantic relationships that are short-lived, at risk for infidelity, lack emotional warmth, and to exhibit game-playing, dishonesty and over-controlling and violent behaviors.”

Twenge, the author of “Generation Me: Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled - and More Miserable Than Ever Before,” said narcissists tend to lack empathy, react aggressively to criticism and favor self-promotion over helping others.

The researchers traced the phenomenon back to what they called the “self-esteem movement” that emerged in the 1980s, asserting that the effort to build self-confidence has gone too far.

As an example, Twenge cited a song commonly sung to the tune of “Frere Jacques” in preschool: “I am special, I am special. Look at me.”

“Current technology fuels the increase in narcissism,” Twenge said. “By its very name, MySpace encourages attention-seeking, as does YouTube.”

Some analysts have commended today's young people for increased commitment to volunteer work. Twenge viewed even this phenomenon skeptically, noting that many high schools require community service and many youths feel pressure to list such endeavors on college applications.

Campbell said the narcissism upsurge seemed so pronounced that he was unsure if there were obvious remedies.

“Permissiveness seems to be a component,” he said. “A potential antidote would be more authoritative parenting. Less indulgence might be called for.”

The new report follows a study released by UCLA in January, which found that nearly three-quarters of the freshmen it surveyed thought it was important to be “very well-off financially.” That compared with 62.5 percent who said the same in 1980 and 42 percent in 1966.

Yet students, while acknowledging some legitimacy to such findings, don't necessarily accept negative generalizations about their generation.

Hanady Kader, a University of Washington senior, said she worked unpaid last summer helping resettle refugees and considers many of her peers to be civic-minded. She is dismayed by the competitiveness of some students who seem prematurely focused on career status.

“We're encouraged a lot to be individuals and go out there and do what you want, and nobody should stand in your way,” Kader said. “I can see goals and ambitions getting in the way of other things like relationships.”

Kari Dalane, a University of Vermont sophomore, says most of her contemporaries are politically active and not overly self-centered.
“People are worried about themselves - but in the sense of where are they're going to find a place in the world,” she said. “People want to look their best, have a good time, but it doesn't mean they're not concerned about the rest of the world.”

Besides, some of the responses on the narcissism test might not be worrisome, Dalane said. “It would be more depressing if people answered, ‘No, I'm not special.”'

Sunday, March 25, 2007

'Foolish' to free narcissistic rapist


March 17, 2007 12:00am

AN ACTOR who appeared on McLeod's Daughters is a narcissistic, egocentric rapist with a "definite disregard for women", a court has heard.
The Supreme Court yesterday heard it would be "foolhardy" to release Benjamin William Ainsworth without "incredible amounts of supervision".

Prosecutors want the 30-year-old - who fled to the U.S. after raping teenage girls - declared incapable of controlling his sexual urges, and jailed indefinitely.

In December, 2004, Ainsworth was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Los Angeles, where he had been seeking work.

After being extradited to SA, he pleaded guilty to offences including two counts of rape, three counts of indecent assault and assault with intent to rape.

Yesterday, the court heard testimony from psychologist Dr Allen Fugler, who had examined Ainsworth.

He said the would-be rap star "exhibits narcissistic qualities" and "egocentric thinking".

"He told me about his role models in life . . . films stars (like) Arnold Schwarzenegger," Dr Fugler said.

"A number of statements he made tended to indicate a sense of 'it's all about me, not about other people'."

He said Ainsworth apologised to two of his victims after raping them, but that was likely an expression of self-disgust.

"He has a definite disregard for women in general," he said.

He said Ainsworth committed the first rape "impulsively" and his behaviour escalated from there.

Ainsworth would fantasise about rape between crimes, resisting temptation only when his self-esteem was high.

"He said, 'I'm glad I got caught, it cleared things up'," Dr Fugler said.

"At this point, it would be foolhardy to release him without incredible amounts of supervision."

Justice Margaret Nyland remanded Ainsworth in custody for further submissions in two weeks.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Help For Victims of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Kaleah LaRoche shares the powerful
story of her recovery from narcissistic
abuse. She describes this type of
emotional abuse as "soul rape" and
encourages a spiritual approach to

Sedona, AZ, March 22, 2007 --(PR.COM)-- Having successfully recovered from several relationships that left her feeling used up and emotionally depleted, Kaleah LaRoche took action to get her life back.

Kaleah describes the effects of narcissistic abuse on a core spiritual level and gives victims methods to recover the pieces they have given away bit by bit through the abuse. She also shows victims how to draw upon their experiences to gain a greater sense of self-worth and become more empowered in their lives.

"When I was in my early twenties, I was in a physically abusive relationship where my boyfriend strangled me," says Kaleah, "Yet I found being in a relationship with someone who has narcissistic personality disorder to be much worse. It is because with narcissism I was slowly broken down on an emotional level to a point I believed it was me, not him, who had the problem."

After surviving a chain of abusive relationships, including two recent relationships with narcissists, Kaleah has fully recovered her spirit and is now showing other victims of abuse, how to stop being victims and start being victors.

In her E-book "Spiritual Recovery From Narcissistic Abuse", Kaleah give readers powerful methods to end the abusive cycle, getting the abuser out of your life for good, stop unconsciously choosing the wrong people, and begin living the life you have only dreamed about.

You can learn more about "Spiritual Recovery From Narcissistic Abuse" by visiting her Website at:

Friday, March 23, 2007

When Your "Perfect Partner" Goes Perfectly Wrong

When Your "Perfect Partner" Goes Perfectly Wrong: Loving Or Leaving The Narcissist In Your Life

Mary Jo Fay

ISBN-10: 0974350478
ISBN-13: 978-0974350479

When Your "Perfect Partner" Goes Perfectly Wrong: Loving Or Leaving The Narcissist In Your Life by author, columnist, national speaker Mary Jo Fay clearly lays out the problems and necessities of living with a spouse or life-partner who is exhibits a "Narcissistic Personality Disorder". Here is a self-help guide that teaches the reader to be alert for signs of egotistical and controlling behavior, a partner who can never be happy no matter what you do, and other red flags, as well as what to do to defend oneself from being a pawn in a sex game, caught in a replay of past abuse, surrounded on all sides by a family of narcissists, and coping with narcissists in the workplace or among one's friends as well as romantic partners. The true stories of those who weathered manipulation are sure to reverberate with anyone who has endured similar maltreatment and selfishness.


She Knows What She Is Talking About

The reason this book is so invaluable is because she knows the subject so well. I suppose that is because she had been through it herself - she hasn't just read about it. I have read several articles on NPD, but this book hit closest to home. What I really like is her emphasis on not remaining the VICTIM. Reading her book helps me to reflect on my part - why I allowed it and what steps I can make to change myself so that it NEVER happens again!

Mary Jo Fay, RN, MSN, author of 'When Your Perfect Partner Goes Perfectly Wrong.'

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Humor: Enough About You: The Narcissist's 7-Step, 1-Minute Survival Guide

Enough About You: The Narcissist's 7-Step, 1-Minute Survival Guide to Sacred Spirituality, A Self-Empowered Career, And Highly Effective Relationships

Mimi E. Gotist

ISBN-10: 0060555939
ISBN-13: 978-0060555931

Book Description

The Complete
Narcissist's Guide

Mimi E. Gotist delivers a gift for our times: practical, simple guidance to help you cope with the self-loving people in your life-while nurturing your own inner narcissist.

At once utterly self-absorbed, and charmingly aware of it, Gotist offers advice on:

# Dating: You're not looking for the person you want to marry -- you're looking for the person you want to change

# Career: Don't work -- work it

# Spirituality: Me Here Now

# Personal Growth: You can't help anyone who won't help you


I got this as a birthday gift, from my sister no less. At first I was insulted, and then I started reading and couldn't stop laughing. This is a great send-up of the self-help, I'm-OK-you're-OK genre that says all we have to do is acknowledge our fear of failure, selfish behavior, and loathing of humanity and then miraculously everything will be OK.

While Mimi's discourses on "The Tyranny of Sharing" and "How to Avoid Socially Conscious Religions" are funny - there's also some truth to it all. It's as if she climbed into my brain and interviewed the mean, selfish other twin (I'm a Gemini) who seldom shows his public face. For anyone who's lived through all the self-help trends from EST to Marianne Williamson to Dianetics, this is a hysterical book.

A fabulous gift for the narcissist - or self-help junkie - in your life. - A reader

I was a little alarmed when this book was sent to me as an anonymous gift. With trepidation, I started reading it -- and laughed so hard I forgot to be alarmed. I was then alarmed all over again when I realized how much I identified with Ms. Gotist. So much so that I've now started reading the book again. Highly enjoyable! - hawcubite

My friend gave me this for a BDAY gift and I immediately fell off my chair laughing. Enough About You is one of those laugh out loud books -- almost every page has a funny joke. It was a great gift. - Highly Enjoyable

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Narcissism study shows why 'You're So Vain'

By Beverly Kelley, Ph.D.

Narcissus is alive and well and living on campus these days. At least that's the word from San Diego State University psychologist Jean Twenge and her colleagues at the University of Michigan, the University of Georgia and the University of South Alabama. They've been examining responses of college students to the Narcissistic Personality Inventory since 1982.

According to the study, narcissism (not to be confused with the personality disorder) is characterized by ‘‘excessive self admiration, vanity and a sense of entitlement'' and has climbed 30 percent among undergraduates during the past two decades. Last year, two out of three handed in above-average numbers for narcissism. The researchers contend that high-scoring collegians are incapable of empathy, turn aggressive when insulted and favor self-enhancement over making others look good. Furthermore, they are more likely to seek attention, public glory and material possessions.

‘‘Narcissism feels good and might be useful for meeting new people or auditioning on ‘American Idol,' '' claims W. Keith Campbell, author of ‘‘When You Love a Man Who Loves Himself.'' ‘‘Unfortunately, narcissism can also have very negative consequences for society, including the breakdown of close relationships with others.''

Twenge, author of ‘‘Generation Me,'' traces the rise in narcissistic responses back to the '80s-era self-esteem movement when elementary school children sang (to the tune of ‘‘Frère Jacques''): ‘‘I am special. I am special. Look at me.'' The problem with all that built-up confidence is that ‘‘Gen-Y is the most difficult work force I've ever encountered,'' trend-spotter Marian Salzman told the Christian Science Monitor, ‘‘because (although) part of them are greatest-generation great ? the other part are so self-indulgent as to be genuinely offensive to know, let alone supervise.'

Grade inflation or calling ‘‘average'' work ‘‘good'' and ‘‘good'' work ‘‘excellent'' has also exacerbated narcissism. It's a lie. We need to remember that Lake Wobegon, where ‘‘all the children are above average,'' is merely a figment of Garrison Keillor's fertile imagination. Furthermore, if grade inflation isn't addressed, Americans will find themselves ill-prepared to compete in a global economy. The latest in the ‘‘A Nation at Risk'' series of studies reported U.S. eighth-graders only managing to place a disappointing 14th in math and ninth in science against our international competitors.

The narcissism nightmare also is being deposited at the feet of reality television producers. Boomers may have a legitimate gripe about Ozzie Nelson as a role model, but is Ozzy Osbourne the best the boob tube can manage these days?

While a recent study of celebrity narcissism conducted by ‘‘Loveline'' host Drew Pinsky and USC professor S. Mark Young confirmed (no surprise here) that celebrities are more narcissistic than average Americans, the study also pointed out that musicians proved to be the least narcissistic celebrity group. Perhaps that's because every performance is a report card on musical proficiency while not-so-terribly-talented amateur-hour contestants (the most narcissistic group) kid themselves into believing that only Simon Cowell stands between them and superstardom.

Campbell connected the dots between celebrity role models and young people when he told The Los Angeles Times: ‘‘If the self-absorption you see on ‘Laguna Beach' or ‘The Real World' is viewed as normal, the culture will be pushed in that direction. Our levels of self-esteem and narcissism are already pretty high. I don't know if we need more of it.''

The Internet has paved the latest off-ramp to Narcissism USA. Young people, who have gotten kudos for merely showing up, can now turn to self-revelatory Web sites such as YouTube, MySpace and Facebook to further indulge their quests for self-glorification, the ‘‘perfect'' pseudo-self or a private planet populated by people exactly like themselves.

Finally, narcissism, by and large, is the result of parents who seem, these days, to be plagued with discipline deficit disorder. Major symptoms include preferring to be pals rather than authority figures, caving into Junior's sense of entitlement even if it busts the budget, and suffering all manner of impertinence, abuse and disrespect in order to keep brief moments of familial togetherness, pleasurable and peaceful.

At some level, however, even a spoiled brat can be made to realize that self-esteem has to be earned — the old fashioned way. Each week ‘‘Supernanny,'' which features British-born Jo Frost confronting parents who have reached ropes-end with their out-of-control kids, attracts 8.7 million viewers. Her secret: She catches the chaos on camera, forces the entire family to watch in horror and then dispenses gentle guidance. Desirable behavior is rewarded. Undesirable behavior is penalized. You can actually read the relief on the children's faces, once they master self-control.

Narcissus did not waste away because he loved himself too much. He loved himself — his real self — too little.

That's what happens when you settle for an image.

— Beverly Kelley, Ph.D., who writes every other Monday for The Star, is an author ("Reelpolitik" and "Reelpolitik II") and professor in the Communication Department at California Lutheran University.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


First, the need to have it all. An analogy illustrates the threat to others in this attitude. Let's say that you feel a compelling need to have all the dollars in the world.

Then, no matter how many you get, you compete with others for every single one. That's unbridled, avaricious greed, and it makes you an adversary of everyone else in the world.

What's more, if you see a dollar in someone else's hand, you will want to take it away. Just because he has it. That's the desire to plunder others. In other words, you will view the possessor of that dollar as a predator views prey.

Therein lies the "malignance" in malignant narcissism.

Narcissists are predators, but many people fail appreciate the meaning of that term, letting it in one ear and out the other. The word predator seems to mean nothing to them unless you put the word sexual in front of it. As if sexual predators are the only kind. Thinking that makes you easy prey for other kinds of predators, like street con artists, wolves and gold diggers ("love thieves"), false messiahs, wanna be dictators, and crusaders like Osama bin Wanton.

Being predators puts narcissists in a special class with psychopaths, that class of people who don't wish you well, no matter how friendly their facade — that class from which sexual predators and all other kinds of predators come.

In anticipation of those who will attack me for putting narcissists and psychopaths in this special class, I point out that I am not the one who does so: they do. They do this by identifying with their image instead of their true (human) self inside. They despise it. Precisely because it is human. And they consequently despise humanity itself, and all us merely human beings. They view themselves as gods relative to us, who look down on us the way we look down on cockroaches.

There is no changing this about them. At least not now or in the foreseeable future.

Kathleen Krajco

Monday, March 19, 2007

Narcissism Examined

Some traditional views of narcissism hold that the inflated ego, the constant need for attention and the unfounded sense of entitlement result from an individual’s unconscious self-loathing. However, new research suggests narcissists actually have a very positive self-view of themselves.

University of Georgia and University of South Florida researchers publish their findings in the March issue of Psychological Science, stating that narcissists do not uniformly dislike themselves “deep down inside.”

Previous studies have shown that narcissists’ conscious self-views are not uniformly positive. Narcissists see themselves as being above average in areas such as status, dominance and intelligence (what are referred to as agentic domains), but not in areas such as kindness, morality, and emotional intimacy (what are referred to as communal domains).

Following that line of thought, the researchers in this study tested the link between narcissism and unconscious self-views in these agentic and communal domains.

Conventional wisdom suggests that narcissism would have negative self-views. In other words, narcissists’ should unconsciously dislike themselves equally from their intelligence to their level of intimacy in relationships. Narcissists, however, had positive unconscious self-views on the agentic (but not communal) domains.

Study authors used an Implicit Association Test to assess the participant’s underlying views on their self-esteem. Essentially, the test works by recording reaction times to computer-based word associations and relies on the notion that the participants are not aware that their self-esteem is being assessed while they are taking the test. This test was tailored to measure narcissism as it relates to agency, communion, and self-esteem.

Narcissists reported positive unconscious self-views in agentic domains and not in communal areas. This study provides new evidence that narcissists exhibit a somewhat imbalanced self at both conscious and unconscious levels.

Source: Association for Psychological Science

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Keeping Up Appearances

In identifying with a false image of himself — a work of art he's carved out — Narcissus isn't just telling and believing a lie, he is becoming a lie.

His life is a hectic exercise in keeping up appearances. He must seem greater than you. He must seem smarter than you. He must seem prettier than you. He must seem holier than you. He must always win. All glory, honor, praise, and thanksgiving belong to him forever and ever amen.

Therefore, he aggrandizes himself and everything he says and does. But that isn't all. When others shine, they diminish the glow of his glory. So Narcissus has the mentality of a rapist, who goes around tearing people "down off that pedestal." In other words, he devalues others and everything they say and do.

That's pathological envy.

Individuals with NPD are often envious of others and believe others to be envious of them. They begrudge others their possessions or successes. They believe that they are so important that others should defer to them; their sense of entitlement is apparent in their lack of sensitivity toward and arrogant exploitation of others (DSM-IV™, 1994, pp. 658-659).

— Sharon C. Ekleberry, Dual Diagnosis and the Narcissistic Personality Disorder

The narcissist is constantly envious of people. He begrudges others their success, or brilliance, or happiness, or good fortune. ...From scratching the paint of new cars and flattening their tyres, to spreading vicious gossip, to media-hyped arrests of successful and rich businessmen, to wars against advantaged neighbours.

The stifling, condensed vapours of envy cannot be dispersed. They invade their victims, their rageful eyes, their calculating souls, they guide their hands in evil doings and dip their tongues in vitriol… (The envious narcissist's existence is) a constant hiss, a tangible malice, the piercing of a thousand eyes. The imminence and immanence of violence. The poisoned joy of depriving the other of that which you don't or cannot have."

Sam Vaknin

This envy is most evident in the workplace. And it's amazing how blind people can be to it. They never notice that the day after someone gets praise or recognition before the group, or gets into the local news through great success with, say, a program or an athletic team, Narcissus starts in on that person. It's as predictable as sunrise and sunset.

So Narcissus hates excellence like a rapist hates women and purity. He wants to trample and destroy it to play "Let's Pretend They're Not So Great After All." Those who've had experience with narcissists nearly always warn that a narcissist will say anything about someone to bring that person down. ANYTHING. With absolutely no regard for the pain and suffering it will cause that person and those near and dear. Narcissus destroys lives and careers and marriages and families as lightly as you'd brush a crumb from your sleeve. Narcissus is just behaving like anyone at his maturity level behaves: when he doesn't like one of his toys anymore, when it displeases him, he busts it. That's all there is to it. And that's all other human beings are to this mental child.

Anthony Fremont is a six-year-old with extraordinary powers to control the little town where he lives by simply wishing away people and things that anger or bore him.... Other than his powerful wishing, Anthony has the mind and imagination of a typical little boy. He amuses himself with his special ability by giving a gopher three heads and then wishing the animal dead when the game becomes boring. The people in Peaksville have to smile all the time, think happy thoughts, and say happy things, because that's what Anthony commands and, if they disobey, he can wish them into a cornfield or change them into grotesque versions of themselves....

— from "It's a Good Life," a story by Jerome Bixby dramatized by Rod Serling for The Twilight Zone, as quoted here.

But Narcissus doesn't need supernatural powers to exile people from society and change them into grotesque versions of themselves: he does it all with nothing but his assault-weapon mouth. His slandering, calumniating, assault-weapon mouth. The people he destroys are of no account, mere extras on stage in a story that's all about him. We disregard the agony of a half-squashed bug we pass on the sidewalk, but we immediately run to the aid and comfort of an injured human being. Why? Because the suffering of a human being matters to us. We relate to human beings. Because we are human beings. We recognize our image and likeness in others and identify with our common humanity in them. We must respect it, show regard for it, and appreciate its value, or we commit an indignity against our own kind. Even the heat of battle doesn't extinguish the light of humanity in human eyes. One minute soldiers can be ferociously fighting and the next minute tending the defeated enemy's wounds. In fact, it goes further than humanity. If the injured were a dog instead of a bug, we'd run to its aid. Because we recognize and identify with the living soul in this sentient animal. But narcissists (and psychopaths) just don't do that. They don't relate. They don't treat people like human beings because they don't relate to people as human beings. They don't even relate to themselves as human beings. They identify with their image — smoke and mirrors — instead of the real person inside. They don't consider themselves as of our kind. They consider themselves special. Inherently superior to the rest of us. As far above us as we are above that bug. In fact, NPD was first described in the literature as the God Complex. Here are couple analogies to how narcissists and psychopaths relate to you — no matter who you are:

  • We don't care about all the worms we kill and maim when we break ground for a new building. Their lives and suffering are insignificant in our eyes. Your life is just as insignificant in a narcissist's eyes.

  • Again, you may take a perfectly good screw driver and abuse it to pry something open, knowing full well that you're probably going to break it. So what? It's just an object. It exists for your sake, not its own. It's there for you to exploit, to use and abuse in whatever way makes you happy. There are plenty more screw drivers where that one came from.

If you live or work with a narcissist, get used to being treated like that screw driver. That's what you are to him, nothing. That's what your pain and suffering mean to him, nothing. If his stomach growls and there will be no groceries till tomorrow, he'll cook and eat you without a second thought.

Because it's all about attention to his needs, his needs, his needs. I...I...I...I...I. I is his favorite word, and he hates to hear you use it. He is a god, so his merest breath of a desire is infinitely more important than whatever fulfilling it at your expense costs you.

And with childish Magical Thinking, he makes it so simply by acting as though it is. By playing 'Pretend.' Understanding that it's all about attention/regard and the inherent value judgment in it explains the perplexing aspects of narcissistic behavior.

More important, it reconciles seeming incongruities. For example, narcissists want positive attention, but if they can't get it, they pursue negative attention with just as much vigor. They will annoy, abuse, and even commit crimes for attention (e.g., Lee Harvey Oswald. Understanding that their need for attention is avaricious explains why they prefer being alone to being with others in a setting where they can't control or hijack all the attention.

Kathleen Krajco

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Narcissistic Pursuit of Perfection

The Narcissistic Pursuit of Perfection

Arnold Rothstein

ISBN-10: 0823681572
ISBN-13: 978-0823681570


This book straddles the divide between textbook and a self-help tome. It is full with analyses of cases - from the literary to the real and will, probably, be of value mostly to therapists. Its main subject is the narcissist's self-destruction in its attempt at perfection. There are a few types of narcissistic self-destructive and self defeating behaviours. The Self-Punishing, Guilt-Purging Behaviours are intended to inflict punishment and to provide the punished party with a feeling of instant relief. This is very reminiscent of a compulsive-ritualistic behavior. The person harbors guilt. It could be an "ancient" guilt, a "sexual" guilt (Freud), or a "social" guilt. He internalized and introjected voices of meaningful others that consistently and convincingly and from positions of authority informed him that he is no good, guilty, deserving of punishment or retaliation, corrupt. His life is thus transformed into an on-going trial. The constancy of this trial, the never adjourning tribunal IS the punishment. It is Kafka's "trial": meaningless, undecipherable, never-ending, leading to no verdict, subject to mysterious and fluid laws and presided by capricious judges. Then there are the Extracting Behaviours. People with Personality Disorders (PDs) are very afraid of real, mature, intimacy. Intimacy is formed not only within a couple, but also in a workplace, in a neighbourhood, with friends, while collaborating on a project. Intimacy is another word for emotional involvement, which is the result of interactions in constant and predictable (safe) proximity. PDs interpret intimacy (not DEPENDENCE, but intimacy) as strangulation, the snuffing of freedom, death in installments. They are terrorized by it. The self-destructive and self-defeating acts are intended to dismantle the very foundation of a successful relationship, a career, a project, or a friendship. NPDs (narcissists), for instance, feel elated and relieved after they unshackle these "chains". They feel they broke a siege, that they are liberated, free at last. Last, but not rare, there are the Default Behaviours. We are all afraid of new situations, new possibilities, new challenges, new circumstances and new demands. Being healthy, being successful, getting married, becoming a mother, or someone's boss - are often abrupt breaks with the past. Some self-defeating behaviors are intended to preserve the past, to restore it, to protect it from the winds of change, to inertially avoid opportunities. Sam Vaknin, author of "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited".

have read this book, and know this Psychoanalyst. This book embodys much of his day-to day thinking and actual technique, and contains both some very interesting clinical vignettes, and also an underlying message: that Narcissistic behavior is ultimately self-defeating for the analysand's life project -- a very difficult concept to get through to patients/psychotherapy clients, particularly in a culture tht continues to worhship and encourage narcissistic pursuits, at all costs, and despite all the warnings of therapists, history, and the great religions. I heartily recommend this text as an adjunct to the more turgidly written, abstract tomes in the field, such as Kernberg's "Borderline Conditions and Pathological Narcissism", for the former's more experiental approach to understanding and managing esentially the same spectrum of personality conditions. Reading Rothstein, one gets it, recognizes the subjects as dysfunctional, but recognizable, and somewhat familiar
beings at that. A Kerbergian read of the same clincial personalities regards them as "narcisstic aliens" whose psychodynamic structure, and whose formative psychodynamics are unlike anyone "we" know... Kernberg's hypotheses are academic and cerebral achievmnts, to be applauded, for sure, but Rothstein's treatise on the same patients is more understandable, accessable, and hopefully theraputically useful. A very good book.

This book was suggested to me as a more reader-friendly look at narcissistic personality disorder. Unfortunately the author's high-flown textbook language often mired me in words more than ideas. Nonetheless, there is some interesting analysis given to such works as Tolstoy's Anna Karenina...among many others.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Narcissism and domestic abuse

It takes two to tango – and an equal number to sustain a long-term abusive relationship. The abuser and the abused form a bond, a dynamic, and a dependence. Expressions such as "folie a deux" and the "Stockholm Syndrome" capture facets – two of a myriad – of this danse macabre. It often ends fatally. It is always an excruciatingly painful affair.

Abuse is closely correlated with alcoholism, drug consumption, intimate-partner homicide, teen pregnancy, infant and child mortality, spontaneous abortion, reckless behaviours, suicide, and the onset of mental health disorders. It doesn't help that society refuses to openly and frankly tackle this pernicious phenomenon and the guilt and shame associated with it.

People – overwhelmingly women – remain in an abusive household for a variety of reasons: economic, parental (to protect the children), and psychological. But the objective obstacles facing the battered spouse cannot be overstated.

The abuser treats his spouse as an object, an extension of himself, devoid of a separate existence and denuded of distinct needs. Thus, typically, the couple's assets are on his name – from real estate to medical insurance policies. The victim has no family or friends because her abusive partner or husband frowns on her initial independence and regards it as a threat. By intimidating, cajoling, charming, and making false promises, the abuser isolates his prey from the rest of society and, thus, makes her dependence on him total. She is often also denied the option to study and acquire marketable skills or augment them.

Abandoning the abusive spouse frequently leads to a prolonged period of destitution and peregrination. Custody is usually denied to parents without a permanent address, a job, income security, and, therefore, stability. Thus, the victim stands to lose not only her mate and nest – but also her off-spring. There is the added menace of violent retribution by the abuser or his proxies – coupled with emphatic contrition on his part and a protracted and irresistible "charm offensive".

Gradually, she is convinced to put up with her spouse's cruelty in order to avoid this harrowing predicament.

But there is more to an abusive dyad than mere pecuniary convenience. The abuser – stealthily but unfailingly – exploits the vulnerabilities in the psychological makeup of his victim. The abused party may have low self-esteem, a fluctuating sense of self-worth, primitive defence mechanisms, phobias, mental health problems, a disability, a history of failure, or a tendency to blame herself, or to feel inadequate (autoplastic neurosis). She may have come from an abusive family or environment – which conditioned her to expect abuse as inevitable and "normal". In extreme and rare cases – the victim is a masochist, possessed of an urge to seek ill-treatment and pain.

The abuser may be functional or dysfunctional, a pillar of society, or a peripatetic con-artist, rich or poor, young or old. There is no universally-applicable profile of the "typical abuser". Yet, abusive behaviour often indicates serious underlying psychopathologies. Absent empathy, the abuser perceives the abused spouse only dimly and partly, as one would an inanimate source of frustration. The abuser, in his mind, interacts only with himself and with "introjects" – representations of outside objects, such as his victims.

Sam Vaknin

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Narcissism and leadership: some differences in male and female leaders

Author: Jørstad J.1
Affiliations: Independent Psychoanalyst and Psychotherapist, Sandvika, Norway
Source: Leadership and Organization Development Journal, Volume 17, Number 6, 1996, pp. 17-23(7)
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Develops from the Greek myth about Narcissus and Echo some contemporary aspects of normal and pathological narcissism. Narcissism is part of a normal developmental phase and reflects the universal need during early childhood, and later in life, to be loved and confirmed. However, there are many possibilities of being hurt in the course of this developmental phase and this experience will leave the individual with a narcissistic vulnerability. One way of handling this is to develop a pathological narcissism, the most prominent characteristics of which are: egocentricity, extreme sensitivity to criticism, strong projective tendencies, lack of empathy as well as fantasies of grandiosity, open or concealed. The need for power may be compensatory for inner powerlessness and lack of self-esteem. A leader will be more or less influenced by the role he/ she plays and by group processes in the organization. Today’s leaders are often influenced by criticism from inside and outside and this may foster narcissistic defences. Male leaders show greater tendencies to pathological narcissism, while female leaders are more inclined to renounce their role. Some research indicates that successful female leaders have all had very good relationships with their fathers. The differences between males and females in this area revert to the Greek myth. Also questions whether some of these differences may be the result of different treatment given by mothers to sons and daughters.

(The full text of this article is available for purchase)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A House of Mirrors

The other problem with Narcissus is that he doesn't necessarily want to make a good impression: he wants to make a grandiose impression. You know — like Superman, "more powerful than a locomotive, faster than a speeding bullet, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound."

Superman (or Superwoman) is just generally "the greatest," as the (truly) great Mohammed Ali so hilariously spoofed the type. So, moral superiority is but one type of grandiosity the narcissist creates the illusion of. But he's also gotta be smarter than you and prettier than you and stronger than you and . . . well, you get the idea.

So, he craves many types reflected grandiosity. Remember that, in doing this, he is editing the deeply embedded impression of himself stamped on his impressionable mind at an early age by a cold and disapproving parent. The importance of self concept cannot be overstated. No one can bear a shameful self-concept. A narcissist spends his or her entire life trying to expunge it. Can't be done. The wax has hardened. The impression is indelible.

But that never stops a narcissist from hectically conducting this lifelong exercise in futility. In seeking to get from others the esteem denied him by his parent, he is trying to overturn that parent's judgment, debating the issue of his worth, trying to prove Mother wrong by the looks on all the other faces/mirrors he meets.

Nothing else matters to him but this "unresolved issue." Everyone he meets is like a flower that a bee visits. Bee investigates Flower for one purpose always and only — to assess what type of nectar, if any, can be got from it. Bee has no interest in any flower he can't exploit. Of those he can exploit, he exploits each a little differently.

To see what I mean, look at the mirrors — I mean, "faces" below. Do you like the image of YOU each is reflecting? That's right, the face doesn't matter: the expression on it does. That reflects on you. Are there any of these expressions a narcissist would like his reflection in and play for? Are there any he would dislike his reflection in?

A narcissist is someone who goes through life fixated on getting the right kinds of looks on other people's faces. A narcissist will love his reflection in the fourth mirror, because it reflects on him as being so grand he puts this fellow to shame. A narcissist will love his reflection in fourteenth mirror too, because it reflects on him as wonderful. And his reflection in the twelfth mirror will cut the legs out from under a narcissist. See how the game works?

For example, he'll exploit his boss for pleased and appreciative looks that reflect on him as the greatest employee. He'll exploit his fellow workers for other kinds of looks. He'll play mind games to get bounced-back looks that reflect on him as psychologically dominant over them. He'll train some to become his hunting hounds, wagging their tails at him for approval of how well they're serving as his ventriloquist's dummies with their baying all over the place about whomever he sicks them on. The whole time, at the same time, he'll be exploiting his minister for looks that reflect on him as the congregation's most saintly member.

The headiest nectar, the nectar of the gods, is power. Nothing makes Narcissus feel grander. What does power look like in one of his mirrors? It's the wretched look of someone begging him for mercy. Someone he's being powerful on = someone he's viciously abusing.

Narcissists and psychopaths prefer this "seeming-powerful" nectar over all other flavors. It's what your rapist, pedophile, and serial killer are playing to the mirror of the victim's face for. Yes, they love that wretched, devastated look on the victim's face. They get high on it, because it makes them inwardly thump their chest and give a Tarzan yell. For, vaunting themselves on others is pretending that they aren't weak and wretched after all — no, they are awesome instead. "See Ma?"

Awesomely sick in the head, that is, but Narcissus conveniently unknows that part. He unknows it simply by having the mental maturity of a three-year-old, at which age everyone thinks that way.

This flavor of nectar is precious, because a narcissist can't get it from many of his mirrors. For example, he usually doesn't dare vaunt himself on his boss, his minister, a V.I.P. or that cop writing him a traffic ticket. So, not all his mirrors are at risk to overt abuse.

This nectar of "seeming powerful" is so precious to him that Narcissus will go to great expense to "keep" someone just to abuse that person. Like a drug addict who will pay any price to support an expensive habit.

In seeking a mate, that's what he's after. He methodically isolates his mate from her family and the rest of the world (often partly by slandering her behind her back), burning her bridges of former employment behind her, and getting her pregnant immediately to make her utterly dependent on him. Then the honeymoon is suddenly over.

And children are readily exploitable for this nectar of the gods, too. Because it is very easy to hurt their feelings. One nasty remark can eviscerate a little child, making Narcissus feel very powerful indeed.

Whereas he'd have to work at hurting his wife that deeply.

This shows why most psychopaths and narcissists don't get to the point of committing physically violent crimes like rape, pedophilia, or serial torture and murder. They don't get to the point that such extreme physical violence is required to stimulate them anymore. For, they can feel good about themselves by inflicting horrendous pain and suffering without leaving a mark, simply through the occult violence of mental cruelty.

Because there's more than one way to use someone up and then just toss them in a dumpster along the way. Even in those physically violent crimes I mentioned, the worst part is the wanton mental cruelty, not the physical violence.

Kathleen Krajco

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Humanizing the Narcissistic Style

Humanizing the Narcissistic Style

Stephen M. Johnson

ISBN-10: 0393700372
ISBN-13: 978-0393700374


The text in the books tend to focus on matters such as therapeutic technique to correct a narissistic style. The author is compassionate and intellectual. He explains in detail how the narcissist should learn to feel and then become more self abled in producing and maitaining loving relationships with others and within themselves. In this book, narcissism in not pejorative and evil instead the clients are seen as people who also feel pain and isolation and want to improve. The main cause of narcissism according to the author is the philosophy of achievement. If they are not achieving, succeeding, and making others happy then they are failing and they are worthless and not loveable. This philosophy is the guiding force behind narcissism. There are different levels of narcissism mentioned within the book. Some cases are worse than others. The book also features dialog taken from group therapy and individual therapy sessions.

I am a sufferer of pathological narcissism myself, and this book is hands down the best I have come across to date. The main reason? Dr. Johnson's extensive knowledge of his subject is EMPATHICALLY INFORMED. This adds a entire dimension to his work that is missing in the writings of many so-called experts. It engenders something in a sufferer that is often overlooked by those who consider themselves on the cutting edge of research into pathological narcissism: HOPE. There are no words to describe the value of realistic hope to a narcissistic individual who is working toward characterological transformation. This is a work of quiet competence, a labor of love, and a very fair treatment of a highly polarized subject, based on actual experience with narcissistic clients. Literally, a lifesaver for me.

I am a narcissistic style myself without psychological training. I benefited tremendously from this book. It contains tonns of good stuff, certain portions have been quite illuminating discoveries for me. Good references. The organization of the book suffers. There are repetitions and some material could be taken away without serious detriment to the whole message. The quality of the narrative is uneven. However, it would be a pity if those problems would prevent you from getting all the great stuff you can find in this book. I highly recommend it and I don't think there is a comparable equivalent in the market.

Pathological narcissism is a pattern of traits and behaviours which signify infatuation and obsession with one's (False) Self to the exclusion of all others and the egotistic and ruthless pursuit of one's gratification, dominance and ambition. The concepts of False Self and Narcissistic Supply are critical for the understanding of narcissistic behaviour patterns. So is the ruthlessness and single-mindedness of the narcissist, addicted to his narcissistic supply, devoid of empathy, deficient in object relations, his immature True Self atrophied and dilapidated. This book is about narcissistic interactions with others, in the context of our (narcissistic) culture. The efficaciousness of the treatment offered is doubtful, the language is sometimes obstruse, the book is tiresomely repetitive. But it is a must on the bookshelf of clinicians, therapists, patients, and their nearest and dearest. Sam Vaknin, author of "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited".

Monday, March 12, 2007

Compensatory Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Compensatory Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a pervasive pattern of unstable, "overtly narcissistic behaviors [that] derive from an underlying sense of insecurity and weakness rather than from genuine feelings of self-confidence and high self-esteem" (Millon), beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by ten (or more) of the following:

* seeks to create an illusion of superiority and to build up an image of high self-worth (Millon);

* has disturbances in the capacity for empathy (Forman);

* strives for recognition and prestige to compensate for the lack of a feeling of self-worth;

* may acquire a deprecatory attitude in which the achievements of others are ridiculed and degraded (Millon);

* has persistent aspirations for glory and status (Millon);

* has a tendency to exaggerate and boast (Millon);

* is sensitive to how others react to him or her, watches and listens carefully for critical judgment, and feels slighted by disapproval (Millon);

* is prone to feel shamed and humiliated and especially hyper-anxious and vulnerable to the judgments of others (Millon);

* covers up a sense of inadequacy and deficiency with pseudo-arrogance and pseudo-grandiosity (Millon);

* has a tendency to periodic hypochondria (Forman);

* alternates between feelings of emptiness and deadness and states of excitement and excess energy (Forman);

* entertains fantasies of greatness, constantly striving for perfection, genius, or stardom (Forman);

* has a history of searching for an idealized partner and has an intense need for affirmation and confirmation in relationships (Forman);

* frequently entertains a wishful, exaggerated, and unrealistic concept of himself or herself which he or she can't possibly measure up to (Reich);

* produces (too quickly) work not up to the level of his or her abilities because of an overwhelmingly strong need for the immediate gratification of success (Reich);

* is touchy, quick to take offense at the slightest provocation, continually anticipating attack and danger, reacting with anger and fantasies of revenge when he or she feels frustrated in his or her need for constant admiration (Reich);

* is self-conscious, due to a dependence on approval from others (Reich);

* suffers regularly from repetitive oscillations of self-esteem (Reich);

* seeks to undo feelings of inadequacy by forcing everyone's attention and admiration upon himself or herself (Reich);

* may react with self-contempt and depression to the lack of fulfillment of his or her grandiose expectations (Riso).

Source: PTypes proposal (Dave Kelly)

Writers Village University Character Building Workshop
Character Test 1 Character Test 2 Character Test 3
© Copyright 2001 Writopia Inc. All rights reserved

Sunday, March 11, 2007

After a narcissist loses his narcissistic mother how does he cope?

Overweening, smothering, spoiling, overvaluing, and idolizing the child - are all forms of parental abuse.

This is because, as Horney pointed out, the child is dehumanized and instrumentalized. His parents love him not for what he really is - but for what they wish and imagine him to be: the fulfilment of their dreams and frustrated wishes.

The child is taught to ignore reality and to occupy the parental fantastic space. Such an unfortunate child feels omnipotent and omniscient, perfect and brilliant, worthy of adoration and entitled to special treatment.

The faculties that are honed by constantly brushing against bruising reality - empathy, compassion, a realistic assessment of one's abilities and limitations, realistic expectations of oneself and of others, personal boundaries, team work, social skills, perseverance and goal-orientation, not to mention the ability to postpone gratification and to work hard to achieve it — are all lacking or missing altogether. The child turned adult sees no reason to invest in his skills and education, convinced that his inherent genius should suffice. He feels entitled for merely being, rather than for actually doing (rather as the nobility in days gone by felt entitled not by virtue of its merit but as the inevitable, foreordained outcome of its birth right). In other words, he is not meritocratic - but aristocratic. In short: a narcissist is born.

The narcissist has a complicated relationship with his parents (mainly with his mother, but, at times, with his father). As Primary Objects, the narcissist's parents are often a source of frustration which leads to repressed or to self-directed aggression. They traumatise the narcissist during his infancy and childhood and thwart his healthy development well into his late adolescence. Often, they are narcissists themselves. Always, they behave capriciously, reward and punish the narcissist arbitrarily, abandon him or smother him with ill-regulated emotions. They instil in him a demanding, rigid, idealistic and sadistic Superego. Their voices continue to echo in him as an adult and to adjudicate, convict and punish him in a myriad ways.

Thus, in most important respects, the narcissist's parents never die. They live on to torment him, to persecute and prosecute him. Their criticism, verbal and other forms of abuse and berating live on long after their physical demise. Their objectification of the narcissist lasts longer than any corporeal reality. Naturally, the narcissist has a mixed reaction to the passing away of his parents. It is composed of elation and a sense of overwhelming freedom mixed with grief. The narcissist is attached to his parents in much the same way as a hostage gets "attached" to his captors (the Stockholm syndrome), the tormented to his tormentors, the prisoner to his wardens. When the bondage ceases or crumbles, the narcissist feels both lost and released, saddened and euphoric, empowered and drained.

Additionally, the narcissist's parents are Secondary Narcissistic Supply Sources (SNSSs). They fulfil the triple role of "accumulating" the narcissist's past, evidencing the narcissist's grand moments ("live history") and providing him with Narcissistic Supply on a regular and reliable basis (Regulation of Narcissistic Supply). Their death represents the loss of the best available Narcissistic Supply Source and, therefore, constitutes a devastating blow to the narcissist's mental composure.

But beneath these evident losses lies a more disturbing reality. The narcissist has unfinished business with his parents. All of us do — but his is more fundamental. Unresolved conflicts, traumas, fears and hurts seethe and the resulting pressure deforms the narcissist's personality. The death of his parents seals inability to come to terms with the very sources of his invalidity, with the very poisonous roots of his disorder. These are grave and disconcerting news, indeed. Moreover, the death of his parents virtually secures a continuation of the debate which rages between the narcissist's Superego and the other structures of his personality. Unable to contrast the ideal parents with the real (less than ideal) ones, unable to communicate with them, unable to defend himself, to accuse, to pity – the narcissist finds himself trapped in a time capsule, forever reliving his childhood and its injustice and abandonment, denied the closure he so craves and needs.

The narcissist needs his parents alive mostly in order to get back at them, to accuse and punish them for what they have done to him. This attempt at reciprocity ("settling the scores") represents to him justice and order, it introduces sense and logic into an otherwise totally confused landscape. It is a triumph of right over wrong, weak over strong, law and order over chaos and capriciousness. The demise of his parents is perceived by him to be a cosmic joke at his expense. He feels "stuck" for the rest of his life with the consequences of events and behaviour not of his own doing or fault. The villains evade responsibility by leaving the stage, ignoring the script and the director's (=the narcissist's) orders.

The narcissist goes through a final big cycle of helpless rage when his parents die. He then feels, once again, ashamed and guilty, worthy of condemnation and punishment (for being angry as well as elated at their death). It is when his parents pass away that the narcissist becomes a child again. And, as it was during the first time round, it is not a pleasant or savoury experience.

Based on my book "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited"

Sam Vaknin

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Narcissists Need Counseling, not Love

Ivanhoe Newswire
By Betsy Lievense, Ivanhoe Health Correspondent

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Psychiatrists diagnose narcissistic personality disorder when a person has an inflated sense of self-importance, requires constant attention and admiration, and lacks empathy, among other traits. Previous studies have linked narcissism with self-hatred, but a recent study reveals narcissists' conscious and unconscious views of themselves are really fairly consistent.

Researchers at the University of Georgia in Athens used two psychological tests to compare 114 narcissists' conscious and unconscious views of themselves. Researchers recorded each participant's reaction times to computer-generated word associations to determine unconscious thoughts or feelings about themselves.

Narcissists had uniformly positive views of themselves, report researchers. Although the narcissists rated themselves high in status, dominance, intelligence and self-esteem, they gave themselves lower scores on kindness, morality and emotional intimacy.

"My concern after talking to lots of people who work or live with people who are narcissistic is these people think, 'Well, narcissists hate themselves deep down inside, so if I just love them enough and take care of them, they're going to be just fine,'" University of Georgia psychologist Keith Campbell, Ph.D., told Ivanhoe.

"That isn't what we find in the research. If you get in a relationship with somebody who's narcissistic, or you work with somebody who's narcissistic, and you give them a bunch of love, they'll take advantage of you and manipulate you."

According to Dr. Campbell, narcissists need to take it upon themselves to work on their compassion and their ability to be close to people.

"It's very hard to change somebody who's narcissistic," said Dr. Campbell. "My suggestion is not to try to change anybody. Instead, encourage them to get some very specific help on how to relate to people better, how to relate to people in a more caring, open, less confrontational way."

Ivanhoe Newswire

Friday, March 09, 2007

What Is Narcissistic Personality Disorder And How To Deal With It Now

Narcissistic personality disorder is a personality disorder that is shown by having a grandiose state of mind in young adults. The number of people with this disorder is highly disputed with some theories stating that it can be as high as one percent of the population. However, most experts agree that this is not the case and the actual statistics are much lower. Narcissistic personality disorder is also disputed as the cause. There are two basic theories. One being that the disorder is caused by early trauma causing developmental disorders. Another theory is that it is learned behavior that has no basis in a clinical cause.

If the origin of the disease is clinical in nature and caused by early developmental issues, the hope for treatment is not good. Because it is not a psychological issue and there are no known medical treatments for the disease, if it is a physical issue, there may not be anything or much that can be done to treat it. However, if the disease is psychological in nature, there is hope for treatment. The behavior can be relearned to something that is more socially acceptable. However, those who are in treatment for this disease show slow progress if any at all.

The reason for this is narcissists by their nature have an inflated view of themselves. Therefore they rarely think there is a problem. Even if they are in treatment, studies show it takes years to make any significant progress. Health insurance companies have varying policies on coverage for this disorder but for the length of time treatment is needed in order to be successful, there will likely need to be a significant out of pocket expense. Narcissistic personality disorder will cause problems at home and in a career. A narcissist will not be able to sustain a healthy relationship for very long and will also have significant problems in productive activities like work or school. They will believe they have a grand life with lots of friends and an unending opportunity for wealth or fame. They will react offensively when the reality of a situation intrudes and have a tendency to blame others for anything negative that may happen in their lives.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Meting Out Trust

  1. Not everyone deserves the same amount of trust. Those nearest you (and in the same boat with you) have earned and deserve the most.

    Never assume that people not in the same boat with you really have your best interest at heart. They have nothing at stake in the matter, so they may have nasty ulterior motives behind what they say. More often, of course, they are just somewhat careless and are merely trying to sound or look good, without really considering the consequences to you of their advice.

    In meting out the trust you give others, you have to go by their track record.

    If you know a person lied yesterday, he or she is a liar today. I don't care if they are a canonized saint: they lack credibility.

    Yet most people judge by the appearances that status or reputation create instead of track record. The result is that a certain person or institution can lie and lie and cheat and cheat and rape and rape and loot and loot till the end of time. Because no matter how many times he or it proves they can't be trusted, the whole world acts as though the past is irrelevant and keeps on trusting them.

    When someone has lost your trust, they need to earn it back. That takes time. It takes time to establish a trustworthy track record to become worthy of your trust again.

    But when someone has lost your trust through treachery, which is cruel, I think you should never forget that. For, it is the sign of a predatory nature, not a mere stumble from the straight and narrow, such as anyone might have.

    Common sense dictates that we should be careful of strangers, because they have no track record with us. Ironically, most people trust strangers more than people they know! (This is what keeps street con artists in business.)

    If you know someone for a long time, you are bound to learn things about them that you don't like. You will know what kind of things they are likely to be dishonest about. You will know in what ways you can trust them and to what extent you can trust them. I am happy to trust them that much, whether or not I really like them.

    But strangers you know nothing about. This doesn't mean you should be suspicious of strangers. In other words, I wouldn't mistrust them without reason. But I think you should invest only a baseline level of safe trust in them till you know they are worthy of more.

    When you see a sign of bad faith, mental illness, manipulation, or predation in someone's behavior, please don't blow it off. Make note of it. If you never see another, great: it was an anomaly or perhaps a misunderstanding. But if you do see it again, or see another, take the warning signs seriously.

    The signs are self evident to anyone who really pays attention to the people around him or her. I suspect that the only people who totally miss them are the self-absorbed (i.e., those who are somewhat narcissistic themselves).

    The rest of What Makes Narcissists Tick highlights some of these signs. But here are gathered a generalized list of behaviors that bear negatively on a person's trustworthiness:

    · Blowing up today and acting like it happen tomorrow.
    · Weird lies.
    · Betraying anyone or anything.
    · A broken (or changed) promise.
    · Reactions that are bizarre, perplexing, and make you have to pinch yourself.
    · Attempting to come between you anyone else.
    · Attempting to come between you and your word.
    · Attempting to come between you and your money.
    · Attempting to come between you and yourself.
    · Being glib.
    · Asking personal questions, prying.
    · Not minding one's own business.
    · Judging your personal private choices, such as what you think or wear.
    · Judging your feelings as though you can change them.
    · Sketchy talk that leaves but a mysterious impression without concrete meaning.
    · Arguments that are mere lines and slogans.
    · Speaking badly of others.
    · Impugning the motives and intents of others.
    · Overreacting to things.
    · Minimizing and catastrophizing.
    · A track record of dishonesty.
    · Asking you to secretly inform against your peers (unless, of course, they have broken the law and you have verified that you are giving this information to legitimate law enforcement authorities).
    · Relating to you inappropriately — by getting too close for the nature of your relationship or by relating to you from above, as your judge.

Kathleen Krajco