Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tuning You Out

The brain is marvelously adept at choosing what information to filter out and what to let in. It does not filter out all extraneous information. It lets certain things in to distract us and grab our attention. For example, while absorbed in a book, you may not hear, "Honey, would you take out the trash?" or "Honey, would you get me a beer?" But you certainly will hear "Fire!"

Nature programs the brain to bring certain things, like loud noises, to our attention. Yet we can train the brain to filter certain loud noises out. This enables people living near airports or railroad tracks to sleep through the noise. Indeed, they are unaware of a passing plane or train unless it drives the dog nuts or they are trying to carry on a conversation. Similarly, we can prime or train the brain to bring certain special things to our attention. For example we can prime the brain to scan a written page for a word or phrase. We can train the brain to "notice" things others would not. For example, three or four good open-water lifeguards can guard a thousand swimmers (not that I recommend so few!). They have trained their brains to remain alert while focusing on no one, allowing certain types of movement to grab their attention.

Note that the brain does not block out filtered information. It just "represses" it to the level of the subconscious. There, it is processed without distracting us. This ability to collect and subconsciously process information is responsible for Natural Learning. Without it we couldn't do the simplest things like walking or talking. Remember how inept you were the first time you got behind the wheel of an automobile? You'd still be that inept if it weren't for Natural Learning.

Unfortunately, people often abuse their minds by repressing information they shouldn't. Like guilt, unwanted facts, conflicting beliefs, and feelings. Doing this puts them in a trance, a self-induced hypnotic state. It is thought that many people do this twenty times a day. To a slight degree, of course.

But, when they want to, people can practically knock themselves out. This is a phenomenon that must be seen to be believed. It reminds one of the newsreels showing the crowds gazing up at Hitler during one of his fist-pounding rants against Jews. All eyes glazed.

I saw it happen in a room of people scared of a hatchet man, who was orchestrating a back-stabbing melee in the mud to divide and conquer. Sitting in a circle, their (repressed) guilt made them so unwilling to know what was going on that none noticed the one picking her nose and eating it right in front of them. Incredulous, I had to pinch myself. I elbowed the one on my left, then on my right, asking whether they noticed. Both gave a little start as if awakened. Then their eyes widened at the sight, and they groggily replied that they hadn't noticed. Then — boom — they went right back under again so suddenly it was as if you'd clubbed them on the head.

Ever since, it has been no mystery to me how people downwind of Hitler's death camps could unsee, unhear, and even unsmell in order to unknow what was going on. Amazing experiments have been done to show that some people can go under so deep they feel no pain from minor surgery without an anesthetic. I don't think this is a mental skill that people should develop.

It is, after all, intellectual dishonesty. Friends don't lie to friends, and if you lie to yourself you are your own worst enemy.

All that repressed information is still there. Whether it's guilt, hatred, knowledge, or whatever. The subconscious mind still processes it. So, it still motivates behavior. For example, a narcissist's repressed feelings of inferiority and guilt motivate his behavior like an unseen puppet master.

It's better to be conscious of what's motivating your behavior. Then you can apply reason, good judgment, and measure to your decisions. Also, at the slightest reference, repressed guilt, knowledge, or feelings can surface to consciousness like a flashback. Narcissists live in constant dread of this. It's like some corpus delicti that just won't stay buried. No matter how frantically they keep shoveling.

Malignant narcissists are masters of this skill. At an early age they begin training their brains to filter out everything but what they want to see and hear and know. Everything but the reflection of their false image in the mirrors around them. In other words, like Narcissus, they are totally absorbed in it 100% of the time. Why? Because, unlike us, they identify with it. They have thus substituted it for their true, inner selves.

Kathleen Krajco

Monday, July 30, 2007

Computer company CEOs lead the world in narcissism

If you have a hard time getting your CEO’s head through the office door, you should prepare your self and your company for a business rollercoaster ride from hell.

That’s the conclusion of a Pennsylvania State study that measured the level of narcissism exhibited by 111 CEOs of computer software and hardware companies and compared it to the subsequent strategies and performance of those companies.

Narcissism involves a lack of feeling for others, attitudes of entitlement and belief in one's superiority, researchers say. These characteristics make it difficult for a person to work with others and maintain relationships.

The Penn State researchers used five indicators to measure CEO narcissism: the prominence of the CEO's photograph in the company's annual report, the frequency of the CEO's name appearing in company news releases, the use of first person singular pronouns (I, me, mine, my and myself) by the CEO in interviews, and the CEO's cash and non-cash pay compared to the company's second-highest executive.

The study showed that narcissistic CEOs tend to lead companies through more changes in strategic resource allocation and their companies experience higher highs and lower lows in organizational performance."Highly narcissistic CEOs -- defined as those who have very inflated self-views, and who are preoccupied with having those self-views continuously reinforced -- can be expected to engage in behaviors and make decisions that have major consequences not only for the individuals who interact directly with them, but also for broader sets of stakeholders," Donald Hambrick, chair of management at Penn State's Smeal College of Business. Hambrick and professor Jean Twenge, wrote the study.

Twenge noted that people high in narcissism lack empathy for others, are aggressive when insulted, seek public glory and favor self-enhancement over helping others look good. Narcissists are also more likely to be materialistic and to seek attention and fame. "While less narcissistic CEOs may be inclined to pursue incrementalist strategies that entail refining and elaborating on the status quo, more narcissistic CEOs gravitate to bold and highly visible choices," they wrote.

The Penn State research indicates no relation between executive narcissism and how well a company performs. "Although narcissists tend to generate more extreme and irregular performance than non-narcissists, they do not generate systematically a better or worse performance," they found. And the scary thing is, more narcissistic leaders may be on the way: Narcissism and entitlement among college students are at an all-time high, according to a recent study conducted by a San Diego State University researcher.

The analysis examined the responses of 16,000 college students across the United States who filled out the Narcissistic Personality Inventory between 1982 and 2006. “Today’s college students are more likely to have a feeling of self-importance, to be entitled and, in general, to be more narcissistic,” said Professor Jean Twenge, lead author of the study. “About two-thirds of current college students score above-average on narcissism, and that’s 30% more than in 1982.”

The Narcissistic Personality Inventory scale asks for responses regarding several statements, including:
• "If I ruled the world, it would be a better place."
• "I think I am a special person."
• "I can live my life any way I want to."
• "I like to be the center of attention."


Sunday, July 29, 2007

In the World of Narcissism

Alivia Riley
July 25, 2007

It is rare these days to find another person whom I can share an intelligent conversation with in regards to the state of society and have it flow without the contentions of who is right and who is wrong. Today I found myself in one of those moments of insightful exchanges of where society is at today.

It was in this conversation that the position was taken that as a society here, we function on the sole basis of emotions. We live in a world that makes the most imperative decisions based off ones emotions and we work hard at correcting societal immoralities on this illogical process and impose our justice based on irrational feelings.

One only needs to take a look at our prison systems to see the logic of such an adversative subject.

The system is inundated with narcissistic personalities who have chosen for whatever reasons to live in a caged fashion. It was not their sad, appalling stories of childhood that brought them to this place; it was at their will.

Narcissism is a choice to debase society and place their needs and desires above the welfare of their communities; a mental condition void of emotions.

It would then reasonably cause one to ask, “Why do we still believe that we can rehabilitate those with no emotions with a society trained to live in emotions?”

Narcissism does not stop at criminals behind bars, taking up the financials of dependable, law abiding citizens who blindly accept the decisions made in and through our government.

It bleeds over into some of the most powerful people we place our freedom into the hands of: the government, the justice system, those who sit on the highest chairs of our system; they are consumed with self interests of the minority, opposing the needs of the majority, and sacrificing the principle in which our forefathers had built this country on. Shed their blood in the name of, taking on huge bravery to give us a place of liberty – in which we should hang our head in shame, the majority of us who sit sightless, unimposing and unquestioning of those who infringe upon our basic of rights: to live without restraint, to talk freely, to act in our own best interests.

We want to believe the lies fed to us, we choose to remain blind as one by one, each one of our rights is occupied by the interests of the minority, whose self interests remove what little we have left in the illusion of a self-governing country.

And we built this foundation on the semblance of emotions in a world concealed in denial of human benefit. Yet, as more government interference arbitrates our daily lives, the more likely it is we will breed more narcissism, and find ourselves in the world of selfishness and socialistic societies with no rights to govern our interests, follow our dreams. Sadly we will be faced with fated destruction based on our inability to think for ourselves, work for ourselves and raise our children to become themselves.


Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Narcissistic Organization

Narcissism is especially prevalent in long-established organizations with a past track-record of success. They become so proud of their past, and so complacent about their prestige, that they no longer notice clear signs of pending problems and an obvious need for change. Just as psychotic organizations “breed” psychotic leaders, narcissistic organizations tend to have an unusually high proportion of narcissistic leaders fixated on issues of power, status, prestige, and superiority.

How can you spot a narcissistic organization? Here are some clues:

  • The members of the top leadership are revered and accorded almost god-like status.

  • Employees treat the organizationally-approved way of thinking or acting as Holy Writ.

  • No one ever admits to any mistakes. Problems are always blamed on someone else—often people outside the organization.

  • People treat the bombastic, dictatorial behavior of certain bosses as justified by their exceptional status.

  • Questioning any aspect of the organization is strongly discouraged. Objections to policy or procedures from outsiders are met by an amused and superior smile.

  • Obtaining employment within the organization is seen as a life-changing achievement and a gift of immeasurable value, which must be repaid with unquestioning loyalty.

My own experience of narcissistic organizations confirms how easily they become a mutual admiration society, where employees act as if simply being part of the organization confers automatic superiority; and the leaders are more concerned to polish their image than take tough decisions. Such an idealized view of themselves and their organization quickly seduces executives into believing that they are in truth the wonderful managers and flawless business strategists that the organization’s PR has made them out to be.

One of the most negative aspects of working in a narcissistic organization is the way it forces everyone to take sides. Since narcissistic leaders typically show strong hostility to anyone who fails to give them the unquestioning loyalty to which they believe they are entitled, employees are faced with a stark choice: do what the leader wants or suffer nasty career consequences. Worse still, there will be no support from colleagues for any “rebellion.” As organizational “cult members,” people rapidly become like their leaders: deeply hostile to anyone who questions the prevailing organizational culture. Independent thought is squashed. Leaders are deprived of truthful feedback. The self-satisfied blindness that results can lead to catastrophe, as leaders are deprived of sensible reality-testing and followers provide sycophantic praise for personal gain.

Narcissistic organizations breed arrogant, power-obsessed leaders and sycophantic, manipulative followers. The archetypal “organization man” is a product of a narcissistic organization. So is the status-obsessed CEO who believes that he or she is entitled to use the organization’s resources to demonstrate superior standing. And, since whatever demands the organization sees as “reasonable” must be met, narcissistic organizations quickly produce zombie-like employees who sacrifice any other parts of their life to the organization’s needs. There can be no work/life balance where employment in the organization is seen as such a stupendous gift.

Is that where you want to spend your time? The longer you stay, the less your capacity for independent thought will be, and the more you will come to believe that whatever the organization approves is automatically right. I have known several people who spent most of their careers in an organization of this type. In conversation, their constant praise for the organization quickly became embarrassing. It was also obvious that they formed an elite group, at least in their own estimation. For example, all agreed that in any problem situation, anywhere in the world, their automatic response would be to turn to the local branch of their organization for help and guidance. Not the authorities. Not friends or neighbors or family. Not even their own commonsense or critical thinking ability. If you hadn’t worked in their organization, you were automatically seen as somehow inferior.

Unless this seems an ideal world to you, don’t be tempted to work in such an environment. If you’re in one, and haven’t yet succumbed to group-think, start job hunting right away.


Friday, July 27, 2007

In the World of Narcissism

Alivia Riley
July 25, 2007

It is rare these days to find another person whom I can share an intelligent conversation with in regards to the state of society and have it flow without the contentions of who is right and who is wrong. Today I found myself in one of those moments of insightful exchanges of where society is at today.

It was in this conversation that the position was taken that as a society here, we function on the sole basis of emotions. We live in a world that makes the most imperative decisions based off ones emotions and we work hard at correcting societal immoralities on this illogical process and impose our justice based on irrational feelings.

One only needs to take a look at our prison systems to see the logic of such an adversative subject.

The system is inundated with narcissistic personalities who have chosen for whatever reasons to live in a caged fashion. It was not their sad, appalling stories of childhood that brought them to this place; it was at their will.

Narcissism is a choice to debase society and place their needs and desires above the welfare of their communities; a mental condition void of emotions.

It would then reasonably cause one to ask, “Why do we still believe that we can rehabilitate those with no emotions with a society trained to live in emotions?”

Narcissism does not stop at criminals behind bars, taking up the financials of dependable, law abiding citizens who blindly accept the decisions made in and through our government.

It bleeds over into some of the most powerful people we place our freedom into the hands of: the government, the justice system, those who sit on the highest chairs of our system; they are consumed with self interests of the minority, opposing the needs of the majority, and sacrificing the principle in which our forefathers had built this country on. Shed their blood in the name of, taking on huge bravery to give us a place of liberty – in which we should hang our head in shame, the majority of us who sit sightless, unimposing and unquestioning of those who infringe upon our basic of rights: to live without restraint, to talk freely, to act in our own best interests.

We want to believe the lies fed to us, we choose to remain blind as one by one, each one of our rights is occupied by the interests of the minority, whose self interests remove what little we have left in the illusion of a self-governing country.

And we built this foundation on the semblance of emotions in a world concealed in denial of human benefit. Yet, as more government interference arbitrates our daily lives, the more likely it is we will breed more narcissism, and find ourselves in the world of selfishness and socialistic societies with no rights to govern our interests, follow our dreams. Sadly we will be faced with fated destruction based on our inability to think for ourselves, work for ourselves and raise our children to become themselves.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Is your boss wimpy, bully, paranoid, narcissist or disaster hunter?

By Michelle Singletary
Article Last Updated: 07/07/2007 02:45:28 PM MDT

I once had a boss who could put my stomach in knots just by walking past my desk. This person was so scary that today, decades later, I get chills thinking about her reign of terror.

Such management by fear is not uncommon in the business world, writes Stanley Bing in his revised book "Crazy Bosses." Unlike many business books, this one needs no subtitle.

"After nearly 6,000 years of evidence on the subject, one thing stands clear: the people who end up as leaders in any organization, large or small, are often the craziest guys around," Bing writes.

In "Crazy Bosses" (Collins Publishing, $21.95), Bing uses corporate history, his own experience and that of others to put to rest a question you may ask yourself every day as you walk into work: "Am I crazy?" Nope, it's more likely your boss, Bing writes.

Bing is the pseudonym for Gil Schwartz, executive vice president of corporate communications at CBS. So he can write with authority on corporate leadership. "Crazy Bosses" is both entertaining and therapeutic.

Bing identifies five types of crazy bosses. There's the bully boss.

"I begin with the bully not because he is special - but because he is common, ubiquitous throughout all organizations large and small, private and public sector, domestic and international, successful and unsuccessful, found in every ethnic persuasion and religious denomination," he writes.

"Let there be no mistake, however," he says. "Women are no slouches in this department. In fact, I believe the female bully is perhaps the hardest to deal with of all, at least for any man who had a mother who scared him."

Perhaps your boss is the paranoid type. "The politics of the workplace function to heighten paranoia in even normal people, and the damaged, friable crazy boss is ill equipped to establish any kind of equilibrium," Bing writes.

The narcissist boss takes self-love to a place no one should go. "Behind the narcissist's self-absorption is not only a frosted head. There is meanness, too," says Bing. "For some reason, neurotic obsession with oneself puts a nasty edge on many people."

Woe to the worker who has a wimpy boss. Such a manager often hides under paperwork. He or she also is fond of meetings - long ones. The wimpy boss also will abandon support of an underling if upper management comes attacking.

Finally there is the disaster hunter. This type of boss doesn't listen to reason. Instead, he or she will pursue inadvisable strategies, from bad acquisitions to outrageous sexual liaisons without heeding warnings.

Of course your boss could be a hybrid exhibiting characteristics from more than one group.

Contact Michelle Singletary c/o The Washington Post, 1150 15th St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20071 or singletarym@washpost.com.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Narcissist as a Failure and a Loser

Sam Vaknin Ph.D.
July 15, 2007

Three traits conspire to render the narcissist a failure and a loser: his sense of entitlement, his haughtiness and innate conviction of his own superiority, and his aversion to routine.

The narcissist's sense of entitlement encourages his indolence. He firmly believes that he should be spoon-fed and that accomplishments and honors should be handed to him on a silver platter, without any commensurate effort on his part. His mere existence justifies such exceptional treatment. Many narcissists are under-qualified and lack skills because they can't be bothered with the minutia of obtaining an academic degree, professional training, or exams.

The narcissist's arrogance and belief that he is superior to others, whom he typically holds in contempt - in other words: the narcissist's grandiose fantasies - hamper his ability to function in society. The cumulative outcomes of this social dysfunction gradually transform him into a recluse and an outcast. He is shunned by colleagues, employers, neighbors, erstwhile friends, and, finally, even by long-suffering family members who tire of his tirades and rants.

Unable to work in a team, to compromise, to give credit where due, and to strive towards long-term goals, the narcissist - skilled and gifted as he may be - finds himself unemployed and unemployable, his bad reputation preceding him.

Even when offered a job or a business opportunity, the narcissist recoils, bolts, and obstructs each and every stage of the negotiations or the transaction.

But this passive-aggressive (negativistic and masochistic) conduct has nothing to do with the narcissist's aforementioned indolence. The narcissist is not afraid of some forms of hard work. He invests inordinate amounts of energy, forethought, planning, zest, and sweat in securing narcissistic supply, for instance.

The narcissist's sabotage of new employment or business prospects is owing to his abhorrence of routine. Narcissists feel trapped, shackled, and enslaved by the quotidian, by the repetitive tasks that are inevitably involved in fulfilling one's assignments. They hate the methodical, step-by-step, long-term, approach. Possessed of magical thinking, they'd rather wait for miracles to happen. Jobs, business deals, and teamwork require perseverance and tolerance of boredom which the narcissist sorely lacks.

Life forces most narcissists into the hard slog of a steady job (or succession of jobs). Such "unfortunate" narcissists, coerced into a framework they resent, are likely to act out and erupt in a series of self-destructive and self-defeating acts (see above).

But there are other narcissists, the "luckier" ones, those who can afford not to work. They laze about, indulge themselves in a variety of idle and trivial pursuits, seek entertainment and thrills wherever and whenever they can, and while their lives away, at once content and bitter: content with their lifestyle and the minimum demands it imposes on them and bitter because they haven't achieved more, they haven't reached the pinnacle or their profession, they haven't become as rich or famous or powerful as they deserve to be.

Sam Vaknin

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Studying company chiefs: Is there a narcissism link?

Pennsylvania State University professor Donald Hambrick probably didn't have to try too hard to find a narcissist among tech-company CEOs for his study (with coauthor Arijit Chatterjee) on the impact of their behavior on their companies.

After all, the pool includes larger-than-life characters such as Microsoft Corp.'s Bill Gates, Apple Inc.'s Steve Jobs, Dell Inc.'s Michael Dell and Oracle Corp.'s Larry Ellison. International Business Machines Corp.'s Sam Palmisano may be one of the few tech CEOs who seem genuinely uncomfortable in the limelight.

Hambrick, who declined to name any of the participants in his study, is trying to prove a point: that companies headed by narcissistic CEOs have higher highs and lower lows than those headed by humbler types. The professor of management at the university's Smeal College of Business based his conclusion on some interesting metrics, such as the size of the CEOs' photos in the annual report and how often they refer to themselves using the first-person singular "I" or "me" in media interviews. He chatted with PhillyInc's Jonathan Berr about his study:

PhillyInc: How did you determine CEO narcissism by photos in the annual report?

Hambrick: It's a four-point scale. If the CEO's photo is more than a half of a page and of him and him alone, that's a four. . . . Narcissistic CEOs not only have their photograph in the report, but it's big and tends to be of them alone.

Q: What other traits do they have?

A: A narcissist has an intense self-admiration but a chronic need to have that self-admiration reinforced by others. They tend to have an air of arrogance, and are often dismissive. They really like to be in the limelight.

Q: Don't all CEOs refer to themselves in the first person since the media usually question them directly?

A: If it were always on the basis of the questions being asked, then we wouldn't see any difference between them.

Q: How do companies fare under narcissistic CEOs compared with more egalitarian ones?

A: It may be that narcissists are why wild and bold things get done. The likelihood of a big win or a big loss is greater. Investing in a company that's headed by a narcissistic CEO is going to tend to be a wild ride.

Q: What's it like to work for them?

A: My hypothesis is that it would be very rare to find someone who scored very high on our narcissism scale who had a career of steady incremental advancement in companies. Narcissists can't handle that.


Monday, July 23, 2007

The Point of Existence

The Point of Existence: Transformations of Narcissism in Self-Realization

by A. H. Almaas

ISBN: 0936713097
ISBN-13: 9780936713090

From the Publisher

THE POINT OF EXISTENCE describes the underlying spiritual basis for the common understanding of narcissism, which is the experience of a disturbance in the inner sense of self and the resulting need for constant reflection from the outside. This vulnerability in the inner experience of identity arises out of a basic separation from the essential presence which is the source of a true self.

The purpose of this book is to support the reader in the development of spiritual maturity and completeness. The larger aim is to contribute to the development of humanity in the service of ultimate spiritual truth.


"Almaas is one of the most significant voices for a new and remarkably integrated spiritual vision. His work connects the personal, the universal, the psychological and the spiritual not as pieces put together, but as the inseparable mandala of the sacred that we are. I respect his work to the highest degree and commend it to anyone interested in living the life of the spirit." — Jack Kornfield, Ph.D., author of After the Ecstasy, the Laundry

"Almaas is an astute and brilliant explorer. The Point of Existence is remarkable in its thoroughness, detail and depth. In it he shows how the universal narcissism of everyday life is an incomplete stage of development which can only be overcome through realization of one's deepest most essential nature. This is a book to study, to contemplate, to live with, and to use as a guide on one's journey." — John Welwood, Ph.D., author of Toward a Psychology of Awakening

"Almaas's The Point of Existence is a supremely original and unique work, of immense significance for anyone involved in a spiritual path. Its far-reaching reformulations of narcissism as the defining dimension of ordinary personality and the major barrier to self-realization offer a great promise and challenge to both transpersonal and psychotherapeutic orthodoxies. It will be studied and debated by psychologists, spiritual practitioners, and theologians for years to come." — Harry Hunt, Ph.D., author of On the Nature of Consciousness

"This pioneering work renders outdated both the psychologist's traditional avoidance of deeper dimensions of experience and the mystics dismissal of psychology. The sophistication of this work is stunning and the views stimulating to our sense of what human identity is and what we can be." — Sherry Ruth Anderson, Ph.D., co-author of The Feminine Face of God

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Unholy Hungers

Unholy Hungers: Encountering The Psychic Vampire In Ourselves & Others

by Barbara E. Hort, David O'Neal (Editor)

ISBN: 1570621810
ISBN-13: 9781570621819

From the Publisher

Vampires are not just imaginary creatures of fiction or legend - they really exist. They are the people who, having never received love, settle for power instead, and become experts at robbing others of their vital energy. We've all known them. In her fascinating study of this dark psychological archetype, Barbara Hort looks to traditional myths as well as to their modern equivalents in literature, theater, and film, following a blood-soaked trail to such unexpected destinations as The Silence of the Lambs, "Snow White," and the Broadway musical Gypsy. She offers insight into how psychic vampires originate, how we allow ourselves to be caught in their clutches, and how we can protect ourselves from their seductive influence.


Amazing, March 8, 2007
By Lynne Anderson (Seattle, WA United States)

Do you feel drained when you are around certain people?
This book tells, in easy to understand terminology, just what is happening. It shows how certain people really are vampires. They drain our energy and make us feel tired. Not only that, we ourselves could be doing the same thing to others without knowing it.
This book can show you what to look for in others, and yourself, and help you to overcome the vampire in both.
(Those who don't think you should read this book may have an ulterior motive. Knowledge protects us from their feeding.)

Highly Recommended, June 22, 2007
By Susan W (Canada)

What an amazing read this is! I've read a lot of psychology books, but this is certainly one of the best.
The book explains how and why people drain others of their vital energy, and how to protect yourself against these psychic vampires. I found the book to be very well explained, using myths, archetypes and even contemporary films to illustrate how the vampire operates. Highly recommended!

Seeing the vampire in oneself and others, March 6, 2007
By Irini

The monster has been with us from the beginning of time, writes Barbara Hort, and though she goes on to talk about vampiric characteristics we all share with the monster, there is an "omission": she does not mention the Psychopath, a human-looking-like being, but utterly inhuman in that it lacks the one characteristic of humanness - conscience (For more on psychopaths, read Martha Stout's Sociopath Next Door and Kleckley's Mask of Sanity). And that monster has been with us from the beginning of time, but we can't see him (looks just like us) or understand him (his emotional substratum so unlike anything from our reality), thus infecting our minds with his own mindset, gaining little by little control over the state and national affairs, media and economy of the globe, a process excellently described in Lobaczewski's classic, Political Ponerology. The Vampire has bitten us and we too have lost our humanness, turning into cold blooded unfeeling, feeding beings. Hort's book is excellent in teaching the fundamentals of protecting oneself from feeding, and how to reclaim the blood bumping human heart in our chest.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Who's Pulling Your Strings?

Who's Pulling Your Strings?

by Harriet Braiker

ISBN: 0071446729
ISBN-13: 9780071446723

From the Publisher

In Who's Pulling Your Strings?, Dr. Harriet B. Braiker, New York Times bestselling author of The Disease to Please, explains how depression, low self-esteem, anger, and feelings of helplessness can be caused by relationships with manipulative people. She exposes the most common methods of manipulators, and with the help of selfassessment quizzes, action plans, and how-to exercises, she helps you recognize and end the manipulative cycle for good.

From the Back Cover

Millions of people, both men and women, can become involved in relationships with manipulators--people who control through emotional manipulation, insults, and mind games. These "toxic" relationships erode self-esteem and make life miserable for the victim. Whether the manipulator is a relative, a spouse or romantic partner, a boss, coworker, or subordinate, or even a trusted friend or advisor, Dr. Harriet B. Braiker, bestselling author of The Disease to Please, shows you how to break this damaging cycle for good.

Who's Pulling Your Strings? will help you end a current destructive relationship, understand how it occurred--and prevent you from ever getting involved in a manipulative relationship again. Using revealing self-assessment quizzes, action plans, and how-to exercises, Dr. Braiker empowers you to:

* Recognize the signs of a manipulative relationship
* Spot manipulators and their typical ways of operating
* Assess your own vulnerability to manipulation
* Identify the 7 main "Head Games" manipulators play
* Utilize effective resistance tactics against manipulator's efforts
* Transform yourself from a "soft" to a "hardened" target
* Extricate yourself from manipulative relationships that do not change
* Protect yourself from falling prey to manipulators' control in the future
* Stop others from pulling your strings once and for all

With insight, compassionate advice, and self-affirming strategies, Dr. Braiker helps you end any manipulative relationship and regain control of your life--starting right now.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Hypersensitive Narcissism Scale (HSNS)

Take the Test


A new measure of hypersensitive narcissism was derived by correlating the items of H. A. Murray's (1938) Narcism Scale with an MMPI-based composite measure of covert narcissism. In three samples of college students (total N = 303), 10 items formed a reliable measure: the Hypersensitive Narcissism Scale (HSNS). The new HSNS and the MMPI-based composite showed similar patterns of correlations with the Big Five Inventory, and both measures correlated near zero with the Narcissistic Personality Inventory, which assesses overt narcissism. Results support the theoretical distinction between covert and overt narcissistic tendencies in the normal range of individual differences and suggest that it would be beneficial for personality researchers to measure both types of narcissism in future studies.

Scale Characteristics:

There were 10 items which had significantly positive correlations with the composite measure of covert narcissism in both samples. These 10 items formed a reliable scale which we named the Hypersensitive Narcissism Scale (HSNS; alpha = .72 for Sample 1 of 109 college women, M = 28.7, SD = 6.2; alpha = .75 for Sample 2 of 151 college women, M = 29.7, SD = 6.1; alpha = .62 for Sample 3 of 143 college men, M = 29.3 SD = 4.7). Because the alpha for the male participants in Sample 3 was relatively low, we also scored the new HSNS in another group of 101 college males from Cheek and Melchior's (1985) data, who had completed Murray's Narcism Scale, but not the NPI, and obtained a mean of 29.8, a standard deviation of 6.0, and an alpha of .76.


Hendin, H.M., & Cheek, J.M. (1997). Assessing Hypersensitive Narcissism: A Re-examination of Murray's Narcissism Scale. Journal of Research in Personality, 31, 588-599.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Does a narcissist control your behavior at work?

Codependence is used increasingly to describe various dysfunctional relationships. Dysfunctional managerial behavior is often characterized by narcissistic leaders and their codependents, and is now widespread in the workplace. As a result, codependent employees spread their narcissistic boss's damaging behavior throughout the workplace. The narcissistic boss needs codependent individuals around him as a source of admiration and the codependent is attracted to the security he offers; the 'you look after me and I'll look after you' behavioral approach.

The codependent functions to protect the narcissist from the consequences of his or her behavior.

Codependents crave security so they tend to be drawn to the strong and powerful image presented by the narcissist boss. Unfortunately for the codependent, the image is false. The narcissist uses the codependent's natural desire to help others to his own ends, usually as a boost to his self-esteem.

Codependents live for others, feeling responsible for them and attempting to regulate the world around them.Ref When the codependent is working for (or working with) a narcissist, he is in a position where he can easily be exploited as a characteristic of the narcissist is lack of empathy.

Codependent characteristics vary from individual to individual, but their dysfunctional behaviors have negative consequences and outcomes in the workplace. Codependent patterns of behavior include, among others, avoiding decision making and confrontation, external referencing (always checking outside oneself before making choices), subordinating one's needs to those of the person with whom one is involved (the narcissist), perfectionism, over-controlling, manipulation, lack of trust and lying.

"Helping managers who come from dysfunctional backgrounds... presents a new and different problem for organizations. There is no management development model for dealing with dysfunctional managers. They cannot be "cured" through projects or seminars. Dysfunctional patterns result from early patterns, not lack of skills, knowledge, or ability."

Both narcissists and codependents bring their own dysfunctional childhood patterns into the workplace. The codependent's behavior can be damaging to the organization when influenced by, for example, a narcissistic boss. On the other hand, the codependent can be a considerable asset to the organization when influenced by, for example, a good effective leader.

David Thomas PhD @ Winning-Teams.com

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

When Your Lover Is a Liar

When Your Lover Is a Liar: Healing the Wounds of Deception and Betrayal

by Susan Forward, Donna Frazier

ISBN: 0060931159
ISBN-13: 9780060931155

From the Publisher

Have you ever been lied to by a lover? In this straightforward and supportive book, therapist Susan Forward profiles the wide variety of liars, shows you how to deal with the lies -- from the benign to the lethal -- that these men spin, and gives practical strategies to stop them before they ruin your relationship and, ultimately, your life.

Once you find out the truth about your lover and his lies, what do you do? Forward offers practical, proven, step-by-step methods for healing the wounds caused by his deception and betrayal. She provides all the communication and behavioral techniques you need to deal with a lover's lies, telling you exactly what to say, when and how to respond to his reactions, and how to present your requirements for staying in the relationship. With understanding and compassion, she helps you decide whether your relationship can be saved and shows you how to move beyond doubt and regret if you feel that it can't. But whether you stay or go, you can learn to love and trust again.

What People Are Saying

"Betrayal goes way beyond sexual affairs to include a host of lies and secrets. When Your Lover Is a Liar is an outstanding guide for helping women reduce the trauma of such interpersonal violations, choose a direction, and rebuild their sense of self."
- Janis Abrahms Spring

"Susan Forward's wisdom and compassion shines through in this excellent guide for women about a potentially devastating experience in their lives. Fascinating reading!" - Susan Jeffers

"Lying is a surefire way to demolish self-esteem and destroy relationships. This very useful guide shows us how to detect lies in those we love, confront the liar, and work through the betrayal so we emerge stronger and wiser." - Ellen McGrath

"Susan Forward does it again with this powerful book that will go a long way toward helping women regain their balance and self-esteem in the aftermath of betrayal."
- June M. Reinisch

"In this landmark book, Forward describes how lying and betrayal take place in loving relationships. In this practical guide, filled with helpful clinical anecdotes, she shows how people can move to new dimensions of love and healing. A must read!" - Rabbi Levi Meier

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Are you codependent?

Codependence has its foundations in the disease model of alcoholism, but is now applied to codependents of drug addicts and narcissists. The concept of codependence is derived from the 'co-alcoholic' behaviour of spouses and children in chemically dependent family systems. Counselors observed that family members often took on the psychological defenses and survival behaviours of the alcoholic, thereby extending the disease from the individual to the entire family.

In the same way, codependents take on the psychological defenses and survival behaviours of the narcissist, thereby extending the narcissism from the individual to the entire household or workplace.

Codependents often don't know where they end and others begin. There is a lack of clearly defined ego boundaries.

The following definitions of codependence describe how the codependent feels and what he feels he must try to achieve:

"A pattern of painful dependence on compulsive behaviors and on approval from others in an attempt to find safety, self-worth, and identity."

"The condition wherein one person tries to control another and to be responsible for the consequences of the behavior of that other person."

This definition of codependence goes some way to explaining what causes codependency:

"A pattern of coping which develops because of prolonged exposure to and practice of dysfunctional family rules that make difficult the open expression of thought."

Codependency is a condition that affects a large percentage of the adult population in varying degrees. Other terms often used for codependent behavior in relation to narcissism are 'enabler', 'follower', 'covert narcissist' and 'inverted narcissist'.

Codependents seek security both at work and at home, so they are drawn to individuals who are, or appear to be, confident, positive and self-assured. Narcissists display these very qualities, displaying an air of superiority, grandiosity and self-importance. Codependents admire these qualities, and narcissists crave admiration.

Narcissists don't want their superiority challenged, so they engage in relationships with individuals who are prepared to remain subservient to them. Codependents, who have been brought up in an environment that ensures they will avoid confrontation if at all possible, are therefore ideal partners. Codependents also find it difficult to make decisions, always checking with others before making choices. The narcissist's constant need for attention fits ideally with this characteristic of the codependent, who ends up checking with the narcissist before making decisions.

However, by subordinating his needs to the narcissist, the codependent puts himself into a position whereby he feels the need to defend the behavior of his narcissistic partner, boss or friend. He takes on the psychological defenses and survival behaviours of the narcissist. This ultimately results in codependent behavior characterized by dishonesty and denial.

David Thomas PhD @ Winning-Teams.com

Monday, July 16, 2007

I Thought I Was the Crazy One: 201 Ways to Identify and Deal with Toxic People

by Ruthie O. Grant aka Amorah

ISBN: 1932181016
ISBN-13: 9781932181012

From the Publisher

Toxic personality traits are found in more than half of all spouses, partners, or intimates, leading them to demand much, give little, and treat others shabbily. These traits are identified and targeted in this relationship guide. Helpful advice includes how to parent oneself, how to nurture the soul, and how to move toxic people toward learning the consequences of unacceptable behavior. This holistic approach provides a fresh perspective on dealing with personality disorders and rebuilding the self-esteem that gets destroyed by those toxic people.


FANTASTIC!, July 4, 2006
By A. Skwirut (Oxford, NJ USA)

This book was fantastic. It helped me realize that I wasn't the crazy one and that the toxic people in my life were there because of their own actions. The way they acted towards me and others wasn't my fault and it wasn't because of me. This is a great book to help anyone figure out who the toxic people are in their lives and it tells you how to handle them accordingly. Highly recommend.

Avoiding the toxic, April 18, 2006
By Charity Johnson "Honestly honest" (Los Angeles, CA USA)

This book is one of the best books I've ever read. Not only is this book easy to read and understand, but it also provides good insight into the different types of personality disorders sometimes challenging the reader to examine his or herself. The author prepares us for what we may encounter in relationships, friendships, and even in the work place. We often face people who have toxic personalities and get sucked in, the book helps us to identify and break away. The book also tells us how toxic people don't know their toxic, often blaming you for problems never looking at themselves sometimes making you question your own sanity, making the title perfect. I enjoyed the book and I believe at one point or another everyone should read it.

Wonderful Read, July 2, 2004
By Jamie Petersen "Jamie P" (Los Angeles, CA United States)

This book is a life saver. I enjoyed it from the beginning to the end. It's a collection of quotes that are thought provoking. Each quote has a comment from the author that is sensitve and evolved. I highly recommend it to anyone who is on the path to self improvment.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Emerging Self

Emerging Self: A Developmental, Self, and Object Relations Approach to the Treatment of the Closet Narcissistic Disorder of the Self

by James F. Masterson

ISBN: 0876307217
ISBN-13: 9780876307212

Book Description

At last, this much?awaited volume sheds substantial light on one of the most difficult disorders to diagnose and treat: the closet narcissistic disorders of the self. The third of a series on the disorders of the self, and the first written by Dr. Masterson since 1985, the book fills a crucial niche in his work and in the field of personality disorders. It describes not only the psychopathology and treatment of this disorder but, more importantly, demonstrates the key dynamic of the disorders of the self triad: self activation leads to anxiety and depression, which leads to defense. This is the central dynamic of all the disorders of the self, and its particular manifestations in the closet narcissistic personality disorder are described along with the therapeutic techniques required to identify and manage it. The volume succeeds in clarifying a great deal of the clinical confusion surrounding the disorder, and addresses such questions as: What does the clinical picture look like? What is the reason for the diagnostic confusion? How does one resolve it? What other disorders does this disorder mimic? How do you differentiate it from the borderline and/or schizoid disorders of the self? What are some possible etiologic factors? What precipitates a clinical syndrome? What is the intrapsychic structure of this disorder, and how does it compare with other disorders? What is the central psychodynamic? What is a mirroring interpretation of narcissistic vulnerability, and why is it the intervention of choice? What is projective identification, and why is it so important to countertransference reactions to these patients? The Emerging Self offers a clear, down to earth, hands?on presentation of interest to all therapists students, teachers, and practitioners. It will enable the therapist to identify what emotional issues are on center stage, understand how to deal with it, and also how to evaluate the results of his or her efforts. Beyond that, it will illustrate the variations in countertransference that occur as a result of projective identification. Above all, the volume will take its substantial place alongside Psychotherapy of the Borderline Adult and The Real Self as one of the three pillars of Dr. Masterson's whole theoretical approach.

Table of Contents

1. The Clinical Picture - A Chameleon

2. A Developmental, Self, and Object Relations Theory

3. Differential Diagnosis

4. Therapeutic Neutrality, Frame, Stance, and Task

5. The Disembodied Heart and the Latchkey Child

6. The Guru and the Bed of Pain

7. The Prostitute and the Game

8. The Puppet on a String and the Whim of Iron

9. Countertransference and Projective Identification I: Overview

10. Countertransference and Projective Identification II: Clinical Example:
Defensive Fusion Evokes Directiveness

11. Countertransference and Projective Identification III: Clinical Examples:
Too Much Activity and Direction; Distancing


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Is the narcissistic personality obsessed with power and control?

The narcissistic personality manifests itself in the narcissist's behavior. He (or she) will seek to dominate every individual and every group with which he interacts. Narcissism occurs in the workplace at almost every organization, usually at or near to the top. The narcissistic personality and its obsessive desire for control is not about control just for control's sake, but an essential defense against the risk of receiving a narcissistic injury; a blow to the ego or self-esteem. The narcissistic personality comprises of a defense that works incessantly to prevent others reminding the narcissist of his feelings of inferiority, inadequacy and worthlessness, which lower his self-esteem.

The Narcissistic defense is addicted to power and control, without which he feels exposed to his real feelings of inferiority, inadequacy and worthlessness.

As Dr Bruce Gregory stated, "... many people have the fantasy that if they try hard, 'do it right,' be reasonable, logical, and have goodwill and a team approach, these factors will generate a positive outcome in interpersonal or group settings. This is about as deep a fantasy as one could possibly have, as it is not based in reality. Why is this? It is... because a narcissist's survival is dependent upon having control, or the perception of control." When this control is challenged, he feels threatened and responds as though his very survival is at stake.

Over time, a narcissist will create an emotionally hazardous work environment for the non-narcissist. He (or she) will surround himself with codependents / enablers / followers. If he is high enough up the organization, he will appoint them. If he can't appoint them, he will make life so difficult for those who don't subscribe to his 'world view' (or tacitly accept it), that they will leave. The narcissist will eventually end up surrounded by individuals who play the pathological reciprocal role that his behavior typically induces.

A huge problem in the work environment is that the codependents completely fail to recognize the narcissist's pathological behavior. As they already subscribe to his world view, the codependent is already conditioned to accepting the narcissist's behavior, and as Dr Bruce Gregory stated, "It is a well known dynamic in most psychological circles that if one is denying or cut off from an aspect of the self, it is very difficult... to recognize this aspect in others."

But as the narcissist's defense works incessantly to prevent others reminding him of his feelings of inferiority, inadequacy and worthlessness, which lower his self-esteem, how does he avoid situations occuring whereby his codependents cause this to happen, even inadvertently? Daniel Sankowsky described how this problem is avoided by both the narcissist and his codependents.

"... under conditions of threat (which can simply mean confronting any non-routine situation), followers and leaders alike act on the basis of certain fundamental values, such as control of the encounter and avoidance of negative feelings, and also on the basis of strategies such as concealing thoughts and feelings, advocating fixed positions, unilaterally saving face, and sending mixed messages. Each side proceeds according to these values and strategies and assumes the other is doing the same. Both sides tacitly "agree" not to discuss any of this."

If the leader (CEO) has a narcissistic personality, he (or she) will make sure that his senior management team is comprised of codependents. If the leader (CEO) is a codependent, and there is a narcissist in his senior management team, then the codependent will do the bidding of the narcissist (remember, he already subscribes to the narcissist's world view). The best bet for an effective leader (CEO) is a non narcissist who has the strength of character to deal with narcissists.

But non narcissists in the workplace who are committed to being fair and nice to others may further compound the problem. They are naturally unwilling or unprepared to hold the narcissist accountable for his behavior. Confrontation is not part of their personality, so their failure to confront the narcissist only serves to reinforce the narcissist's belief in his dominance, thereby strengthening his position.

An emotionally hazardous work environment is a workplace lead by a narcissistic manager who believes in demonstrating power and control over employees, dominating others through a combination of direct threats and stealth methods. But when the narcissistic manager gets his (or her) feelings hurt, or perceives he has been slighted in any way, or is threatened that an employee's abilities might be better than his own, he will react with aggression. The time it takes for the narcissist to change from Mr Nice Guy to Mr Angry can be very short, and some of the methods he uses as means of control are abuse, narcissistic rage, splitting, projection, character assassination, and intimidation.

The stealth methods used by narcissistic leaders and managers can create emotional turmoil for those around them. Name calling, talking down to employees, sexual harassment, disinformation, using the 'silent treatment' for those who have slighted him are just some examples of the subtle controlling techniques that gradually but consistently erode a normal workplace into one that is cancerous. And just as with cancer in the body it can spread its malignancy throughout the organization.

David Thomas PhD @ Winning-Teams.com

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Heart of Malice

A narcissist's need to have it all is something one must see, I'm afraid, to believe.

It literally pains a narcissist to see anyone else get any. "Any" being any credit, appreciation, praise, recognition - whatever - just any form of what one narcissist I know called "sugar." It's just any form of the regard and respect human beings show each other in human relations, that stuff by which we VALUE other human beings as WORTHY of any regard.

Narcissists are pigs who gotta have it all. They begrudge anyone else any. Like three-year-olds who haven't been taught to share.

Doubt it? Just watch a narcissist while anyone present is getting credit for something or is being thanked or praised. He or she will look just sick.

He acts HURT by it. Short changed, cheated of what rightly belonged to him. It's as though any shine on anyone else diminishes the glow of God Almighty's glory.

He's gotta smear that shiny spot on the other person and immediately sets about doing so. The mental illness doesn't take away the sheer malice in that. Yes, malice. If you want to deny others treatment as WORTHY of any credit or regard or respect, you are trying to impose on others treatment as UNWORTHY of any credit or regard or respect. That's malice.

And other mentally ill people are not malicious like that.

In fact, it's as though a narcissist really does have himself confused with God and thinks the Bible verse applies to him that says 'all glory, laud, honor, praise, and thanksgiving belongs to him forever and ever amen.'

Get any and he thinks you're stealing it from him. Like a three-year-old who screams because her little brother has one of the toys.

That narcissist will take it away. Because the brat has just gotta have it/them all.

This is why narcissists go through life trashing others and robbing them of their due. It's what gives them the mentality of the rapist who goes around tearing others "down off that pedestal."

That isn't just mental illness: that's the heart of malice.

Kathleen Krajco

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Nurse gets life for killing patients

Fri, 29 Jun 2007

A nurse at Berlin's prestigious Charite hospital was sentenced to life in prison on Friday for killing five seriously ill patients with drug overdoses.

The 55-year-old nurse, Irene Becker, admitted at the start of her trial to killing four patients at the hospital's cardiology unit and asked the families of her victims to forgive her.

She claimed that she had acted out of compassion but the prosecution rejected this, saying she had "played God".

State prosecutor Thorsten Neudeck alleged that Becker gave a male patient a lethal injection in 2005 simply because she was angry that he would not calm down.

In another case, he said, the nurse gave a woman with a weak heart a fatal dose of blood pressure medication while the patient's husband was sitting by her bed.

The state had accused Becker of a sixth murder as well as one case of attempted murder, but failed to prove these charges.

The court found that the nurse is mentally unstable, with a narcissistic personality disorder, but bears responsibility for her crimes.

Becker worked at the intensive care ward in the Charite's cardiology unit, where all the victims were patients. They were killed in 2005 and 2006.

Witnesses had told the court that internal problems at the hospital whose origins date back to 1710 had prevented the murders coming to light earlier.

A staff member testified that at least two of the killings took place in the period that lapsed between suspicions arising in the ward and management being informed.

In 2006, a male nurse was sentenced to life in prison in Germany for administering lethal injections to 28 mostly elderly patients.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Spiritual Recovery From Narcissistic Abuse

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: http://www.narcissism-abuse-recovery.com

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Verbally Abusive Relationship

Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to Recognize It and How to Respond

by Patricia Evans

ISBN: 1558505822
ISBN-13: 9781558505827


Verbal abuse doesn't leave the same physical evidence as battery, but it can be just as painful, and can actually take longer to recover from. The new edition of this important reference covers the most recent developments in dealing with verbal abuse and answers the questions readers ask most on the subject.


This Book Has Something For EVERYONE
Nikki (leahmfitz@aol.com), founder of National Family Rights

Reading this book has changed my life through me learning the coping techniques for dealing with verbal abuse. However, I do not just recommend it for those's in a verbally abusive relationship. I recommend it to everyone in any type of relationship because it teaches you useful communication skills period. You can also learn to recognize some things in your communicating style that could keep you from possibly unintentionally hurting someone else. I am purchasing the book today for a friend who recently married and is having trouble with what is being said to her. I do not necessarily belive she is in an abusive relationship or not. If she is then this book will help HER reconize it. Either way she needs this valuable information.

It's not my FAULT
ALD (texas2906@hotmail.com), becoming stronger

I was always wondering why I couldn't do enough to please him. It wasn't enough...no matter how good the toilet was it wasn't good enough. When I went unhappily to clean it better he would say I was so defensive of a suggestion. That I was trying starting something by digging my heals in the ground just to try to piss him off. He told me I did things on purpose because I got enjoyment out of pissing him off. He could graph my wanting to argue when I would want to discuss an emotional issue. So, I became numb and a just remained there for the financial security. I have 2 teenagers who are suffering from my putting up with this, to a point they have lost respect for me. This was my first book and it won't be my last...I will not remain in this situation much longer. I do not feel it is my fault any longer to have an opinion or it is not my fault if the bed isn't made correctly. It is his for thinking because he makes the money that he is better and that I need to be his slave. I have to let a bit of anger out so I don't need validation and go ask him one more time what he is mad at and be ignored and told that I just want to start something. I'm DONE. My counselor suggested this book on my second visit. I read it in a day and a half. Wow is all I can say. If allowed you may email me.

EVERY Person Should Read this BOOK!!!!
A reviewer, A reviewer, 10/30/2005

People tend to think that being verbally abusive is cussing, swearing and name calling when in Fact it is also...looks and sometimes Not Talking...Verbal Abuse takes on MANY Forms....I have literally read hundreds of books many being self-help!!! This one was So GOOD that a counselor friend of mine that I gave a copy to....Taught a class on It!!! I had been married over 20 years and when I read this book I realized that my Ex-husband had at one time or another used every tactic in this book! ( I said ex-husband) You won't be disappointed...even for everyday what seems to be normal relationships and marriages can Greatly benefit from this book! FIVE STARS!!!!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Rapist declared dangerous offender

Karen Kleiss, The Edmonton Journal
Published: Saturday, June 30, 2007

EDMONTON - Russell Ominayak, who brutally raped a single mother and forced her seven-year-old son to watch and participate, was declared a dangerous offender Friday.

Known as the Duggan Rapist, Ominayak has effectively been handed a life sentence with no chance of parole and will spend the rest of his life in prison.

"Mr. Ominayak had an unfortunate upbringing, but that does not alter the reality of who he is," Court of Queen's Bench Justice Juliana Topolniski wrote in her 45-page judgment.

"(He is) a callous, mainly unempathetic, narcissistic, and remorseless individual with a well-entrenched set of antisocial values who is highly impulsive, blames others for almost all of his problems, and who has a long track record of irresponsibility."

Ominayak, who is 29, appeared to be mildly amused as the judge read her decision. At times, he shook his head in disagreement. At other times, he smiled.

He showed no emotion as the judge declared him a dangerous offender.

In 2005, a jury convicted Ominayak on eight charges related to the rape, including aggravated sexual assault and unlawful confinement.

Court heard that he had been drinking and smoking marijuana at a friend's townhouse before he crawled through a small window in a woman's Duggan neighbourhood townhouse on Aug. 22, 2002.

She had left the window open to air out cooking smells.

She woke to find a stranger standing in her hallway and screamed. Ominayak jumped on top of her, held a knife to her throat -- which he had taken from her kitchen -- and bit her neck and breasts.

Her seven-year-old son then awoke and tried to rescue his mother by beating Ominayak over the head with slippers.

For nearly an hour, Ominayak sexually assaulted the woman three times and forced the boy to watch and participate.

Ominayak then ordered the woman and her son into their van and took them to a bank. After he told the boy to go inside and use his mother's ATM card, the woman jumped out of the vehicle and ran for help. Ominayak was arrested almost a year later, on June 16, 2003, following two break-ins and an attempted carjacking on the south side.

"Mr. Ominayak's callous, alcohol- and drug-fuelled violation of their sense of security, their bodies, and their parent-child relationship can be described as nothing short of horrific, shocking, and abjectly brutal," Topolniski said.

"Intense psychological damage was inflicted by him."

Ominayak's victim said Friday she is happy with the judge's decision.

"He is where he deserves to be," the woman said of her attacker, adding she draws her strength from her family, friends and, most of all, from God.

The woman's therapist said justice has been served, which is necessary for her patient to move forward. She said the woman still suffers from flashbacks and struggles to cope with experiences that trigger her painful memories.

And she still has to lock up the kitchen knives before she can go to sleep.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Peter Pan Syndrome: Men Who Have Never Grown Up

The Peter Pan Syndrome: Men Who Have Never Grown Up

by Dan Kiley

ISBN-10: 0380688905
ISBN-13: 978-0380688906


Oh PLEASE pay attention to this book !
By J. Stevens "wondermom !" (PA, USA)

The chance reading of this book stopped me from marrying "Mr. Wrong".. and opened my eyes to this syndrome which is just as common is women as men.
You can't change a person unless they are in diapers. Change yourself or accept them, warts and all.
I'd highly recommend this book and will give my copy to my daughter before she graduates from high school and goes out into the world.
Kudos for making it available again !


Personal Understanding of the People I have Loved & Admired
By Phyllisia (Atlanta, Georgia)

I was married to a man that I could never figure out the way he reacted in his daily life. He was very much still dependant on his family for financially support; played well with children and animals. From my understanding he was put into a boarding home at age 2 years old--so, this may somehow interferred with his bonding with his mother and father that caused some of his problems. Later in his teen years and adult years he became a severe alocholic; an abuser to women and a person when his mother was not around dependant on other women. Would rather sat at home playing games all day long than working and when working would fantisize about being someone he was not; and tried to convince other people he was a zillionaire or should be treated as royalty.

I also have a brother who is like this; and I too do not know today how to deal with him,but, the book opened my eyes letting me know that I am not the one that is crazy nor the one with this snydrome. I would recommend the book to everyone; I just wish that Opral Winfrey would have Dr. Dan Kiley on her show so that the world could hear the Doctor speak on this syndrome and have a better understanding about the syndrome and the people they have to deal with on a daily basis who has this problem.

Just look at Michael Jackson and read this book--wow,surprise, surprise, Mrs. Jackson (mother of Michael) a book written about your son. And, maybe people will not look as Michael as so different any more:as there are thousands and thousands of men that have this syndrome. This syndrome does not make a bad person--it just means the person is still somehow caught in the time of his childhood and has never let go; for fear, security or whatever reason the person still feel safer is this part of his world. Who knows--Michael Jackson seems to be happy all the time. Anyway, read it people and understand the people better you deal with and quit calling them different and nutty. us tlove them for who they are. You can not change them. You can only support who they are and enjoy whatever time you can tolerate being around them.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Attention -- the mirror in another's eye

Narcissists are addicted to attention. That is not just a figure of speech: I mean it exactly. Like heroin addiction, this addiction is so potent that withdrawal is life-threatening.

What do narcissists get from attention? The same thing we all get.

Another person's attention is a kind of mirror reflecting the image of ourselves we're portraying in the interaction. We all notice when we are making a good impression on somebody. We see it reflected in that person's response to what we're doing and saying. We often adjust our words and behavior to tune that response. People do this in a job interview, for example. They also do this when meeting a potential mate or anybody they wish to favorably impress, such as the traffic cop who just stopped them for speeding or some V.I.P. they're being introduced to.

Playing to the mirror of another person's eye is perfectly normal — under certain circumstances. In fact, it's adaptive. Like scorpions approaching each other as potential mates, or ships at sea or in space, people play this game to smooth the interaction and establish a safe connection.

But we don't like doing this. It's a bit nerve-wracking. And we know it's a game. (See the excellent book The Games People Play by Dr. Eric Berne.) Playing it makes us uncomfortable. And there are limits to how far we will go. We don't mind being civil and friendly or even humble and overly agreeable to smooth our interaction with a person. But we immediately sense the prostitution in our actions when our hypocrisy sensor goes off. Then our self-respect kicks in. In fact, we prefer the company of intimates and friends — people we can be ourselves with.

Narcissists are different in that they are in game-playing mode 100 percent of the time and are not trying to make a safe connection. Or a good impression. The reflection they're playing for is grandiose — not pleasing, friendly, or good.

Kathleen Krajco


Friday, July 06, 2007

Venezuela's Hugo Chavez: The cornered narcissist

Analysis by Francisco Toro

If you're looking for insight into Venezuela's seemingly never-ending political crisis, section 301.81 of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) would be an excellent place to start. The entry reads eerily like a brief character sketch of Venezuela's embattled president, Hugo Chavez: "Has a grandiose sense of self-importance; is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance; requires excessive admiration; has unreasonable expectations of automatic compliance with his expectations; shows arrogant behaviors or attitudes, etc." Actually, it's the DSM-IV's diagnostic criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).

Venezuelan psychiatrists long ago pegged Chavez as a textbook example of NPD. According to the DSM-IV, a patient has NPD if he meets five of the nine diagnostic criteria. But Dr. Alvaro Requena, a respected Venezuelan psychiatrist, says Chavez "meets all nine of the diagnostic criteria." Dr. Arturo Rodriguez Milliet, a colleague, finds "a striking consensus on that diagnosis" among Caracas psychiatrists. Not that it really takes an expert: you only need to watch Chavez's constant "cadena" broadcasts, where the president blusters, badgers, sings, reports, lectures, recalls and issues orders live on every TV channel and every radio station in the country, carrying presidential speeches that can last anywhere from 5 minutes to 4 hours, one never knows ahead of time.

Of course, lots of politicians have some narcissistic traits - Washington, D.C. is notorious for the size of its egos. NPD, however, is what happens when those traits run amok, impairing sufferer's ability to interact with the world in a normal way. People with NPD are so intimately convinced of the crushing weight of their historical significance that they lose the ability to interact with the world in anything like a way that most people would recognize as normal.

Narcissism and political power make an explosive combination. As Dr. Sam Vaknin, author of Malignant Self Love: Narcissism Revisited, puts it, "the narcissist's grandiose self delusions and fantasies of omnipotence and omniscience are exacerbated by real life authority." President Chavez has amassed more real life authority than anyone in Venezuela's contemporary history. When his considerable charisma and oratory ability are added to this mix, the already volatile cocktail described above becomes positively explosive.

Because in the mind of a pathological narcissist, grandiose self-delusion often masking deep insecurities and a fragile sense of ultimate self-worth. The two tendencies co-exist in a sort of uneasy truce. As Dr. Vaknin writes, "the narcissist's personality is so precariously balanced that he cannot tolerate even a hint of criticism and disagreement."

In Venezuela, over the last five years, Chavez's narcissism has led to a systematic winnowing of the his pool of truly trusted advisors and confidants (other than Fidel Castro, the one voice Chavez does seem to listen to.) People with views that differ even slightly from the comandante's fall out of favor quickly, often brutally.

At worst, those who come to disagree openly with the president are openly demonized, humiliated and threatened in "cadenas" in full view of the whole country. Coming from a man with several paramilitary groups at his command, these must be taken as serious threats.

Total loyalty to the cult of personality is demanded, and total loyalty to the cult of personality is obtained. More than evidently, only rank sycophants and yes-men can survive in an inner circle where such dynamics are at work. Also, clearly, no real policy debate can take place: politicies will not be the result of a process of genuine give and take. Instead, they will consist in a series of military style orders that are mutually incoherent, and very often wildly impracticable.

Thus, at different times, we've been promised at least three mutually inconsistent futures for the "camastron" (the 70s era Boeing 737 Chavez inherited and promptly, man of the people that he is, replaced with a much larger $86 million dollar airbus.) According to which side of the bed the president woke up on this morning, the plane will either ferry poor Venezuelans so they can visit the natural wonders of the Canaima flat-top mountains, or it will be the first in a fleet of planes for a future Vene-Caribean airline that will eventually penetrate foreign markets, or it will be used to ferry Venezuelan patients to Cuba for various operation, or none of these, or all of these at the same time. None of these plans appears financially viable for a state that is broke, but in combination, they present a kind of burlesque of presidential narcissism at work.

What's most perverse about Chavez's narcissism is that some people close to him have clearly learned to manipulate it for their personal purposes. Once you've caught on that feeding the president's narcissism is the way to get ahead in palace politics, what's the reasonable response? Feeding the president's narcissism, of course.

Over a period of years, this dynamic has left Chavez worryingly isolated. It's probably been months or years now since the president has been brought face to face with ideas different than his own, with versions of reality that don't conform to his own sense of grandeur, (except for when he is conversing with foreign leaders, of course.)

Under those circumstances, anyone's sense of reality would suffer. But if you've started out with narcissistic tendencies, that level of isolation is liable to push you over the edge altogether. With no critical thinkers around anymore, no one willing to sit him down and tell him the awful truth, there are no checks left on his pathological relationship with reality.

To a pathological narcissist, reality is little more than a hindrance. This is the heart of the chavista mania for calling what is real virtual and what is virtual real. As Dr. Rodriguez Milliet points out, "Chavez's discourse might be dissonant with reality, but internally it's scrupulously coherent." Chavez's only concern is to preserve his romantic vision of himself as a fearless leader of the downtrodden in their fight against an evil oligarchy. If the facts don't happen to fit that narrative structure, then that's too bad for the facts.

So it's not that Chavez lies, per se. It's that he's locked up within a small, tight circle of confidants that feed an aberrant relationship with reality. To lie is to knowingly deceive. Chavez doesn't lie.
He invents the truth

Obviously, there are more than a few inconveniences to having a pathological narcissist as president. For instance, it's almost impossible for narcissists to admit to past mistakes and make amends. The narcissist's chief, overriding psychological goal is to preserve his grandiose self-image, his sense of being a larger-than-life world historical force for good and justice. Honestly admitting any mistake, no matter how banal, requires a level of self awareness and a sense for one's own limitations that runs directly counter to the forces that drive a narcissist's personality. Chavez cannot, never has, and never will sincerely accept his own fallibility. It's just beyond him. And it's impossible for the movement he's created to question him.

Once you have a basic understanding of how their pathological personality structures drive the behavior of people with NPD, Hugo Chavez is an open book. Lots of little puzzles about the way the president behaves are suddenly cleared up.

For instance, you start to understand why Chavez sees no adversaries around him, only enemies. It makes sense: the more he becomes preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power and brilliance the harder it is for him to accept that anyone might have an honest disagreement with him. Chavez is a man in rebellion against his own fallibility. "As far as he can see," explains Dr. Requena, "if anyone disagrees with him, that can only be because they are wrong, and maliciously wrong."

People with NPD are strongly sensitive to what psychiatrists call "narcissist injury" The psychic discombobulation that comes from any input that undermines or negates the fantasies that dominate their mindscape. Chavez clearly experiences disagreement and dissent as narcissist injury, and as any psychiatrist can tell you, an injured narcissist is liable to lash out with virulent rage.

This pattern fits Chavez frighteningly, if only on the rhetorical level. 95% of his political reasoning is made up of ad hominem attacks on those who dare questioning, along with the paranoid preocupation with plots all around him, a kind of conspiracy mentality the fringier parts of the first world left eat up with relish.

So I wonder. If only. If only those first world sympathizers could sit own and hear him talk, and hear him, and hear him like we Venezuelans have heard him, and heard him, and heard him for hundreds of hours of "cadenas" spanning back 5 years. If they could know the character like we know the character, after hundreds of hours of forced intimacy through the "cadena" system. Often, his slurs and insults are almost comically overstated. He insists on describing Venezuela's huge, diverse, and mostly democratic opposition movement as a "conspiracy" led by a tiny cabal of "coup-plotters, saboteurs and terrorists." These attacks not only demonstrate the tragic extent of his disconnect with reality, they have also thoroughly poisoned the political atmosphere in Caracas, creating what's been described as a "cold civil war."

If only they could hear him the way we've heard him...how many of them would earnestly consider someone like Chavez fit to rule their own countries? 3%? More? How many pro-autocracy lefties are there left in Europe?

But we, we have heard him. We've been forced to hear him, we've been obligated to participate in the cult of personality through our state funded TV station and those hundreds of hours of "cadenas". So yes, in Venezuela we know the character well by now.

This is precisely his problem: too many of us know too much about him, about the way he thinks and the way he leads to accept his brand of leadership silently.

Chavez's brand of intellectual intolerance has turned the Venezuelan state into the most autocratic in the Americas short of the one led by his hero, Fidel Castro. It's no coincidence. In Dr. Milliet's view, "narcissism leads directly to an autocratic approach to power." Access to state jobs - a key source of livelihood for millions of Venezuelans -is now openly dependent on civil servant's acceptance of political blackmail. The regime no longer even hides it. Anything is fair when it comes to protecting the narcissist-in-chief's self-image.

The other facts are well known, but they are worth re-hashing one-more time for readers who don't follow all the ins and outs of the democratic process here like we do.

President Chavez has systematically placed diehard loyalists in key posts throughout the state apparatus. When you come to understand his behavior in terms of NPD, that's not at all surprising: someone who understands the world as a struggle between people who agree with everything he says and does vs. evil will obviously do everything in his power to place unconditional allies in every position of power.

The case of the Attorney General is especially worrying. With nothing like a special counsel statute and no state criminal jurisdiction, the A.G. must approve every single criminal investigation and prosecution in Venezuela. Control this post, and you have total veto power over the entire penal system. For this reason, the A.G. is not a cabinet position in Venezuela like it is in the US. Because of its key role in fighting corruption and keeping watch over the legality of the government's actions, the A.G. is set up as a fully independent, apolitical office in the Venezuelan constitution. But that clearly wouldn't do for Chavez. For this most sensitive of offices, Chavez tapped perhaps his most unconditional ally, a doggedly loyal chavista fresh from a stint as vicepresident of the republic. It's like having Karl Rove as attorney general, and no independent council statute!

Not surprisingly, not a single pro-Chavez official has been convicted of anything, ever, despite numerous and well-documented allegations of serious corruption, and a mountain of evidence to suggest the government has organized its civilian supporters into armed militias. The bargain is simple: in return for unrestricted political support, the government remunerates the corrupt and the criminal with total immunity from criminal prosecution. It's quite that simple. The only real requisite for admission into the protection afforded by their control of the state is total submission to the leader's cult of personality. Not surprisingly, many take the bargain.

This dynamic can rise to almost incredible heights. Recently, a former student activist with a murky criminal history and credibly linked with no other than Iraq's Ba'ath Party, for God's sake, was recently named to head an important office at the National Identification Directorate! Can you imagine that? If this is the "model of democracy" Chavez has in mind, he will doubtlessly win the referendum with 100% of the vote and 100% turnout!

And indeed, today, every nominally independent watchdog institution in the state, from the Supreme Court to the Auditor General's office, is run by a presidential crony. With the National Assembly operating like a branch office of the presidential palace, the formal checks-and-balances written into the constitution have become a farce.

Only CNE retains a measure of independent credibility from both sides. Nothing will be possible unless both sides solemnly pledge to accept CNEs eventual decision. They should do this right now.

The reality is that CNE has become a beacon of hope in Venezuelan society. On the verge of the presidential recall, CNE stands as the sole exception, the sole entity of the state that Hugo Chavez cannot control at his pleasure, and my feeling is that, despite, must we recall, it's roughly 3-2 nominal chavista majority, a genuinely independent CNE is the biggest problem in Hugo Chavez's immediate future. All five members of CNE must be uniformly lauded for putting legality ahead of party loyalty so far - a precedent that could serve as the seed for a true democratic awakening in the post-Chavez period.

"Some may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one"

The goal of a new, more dynamic, more participative and much, much more inclusive Venezuela is now within striking distance. The country need not be dominated by a pathological narcissist much longer.

*Much more analysis from Francisco Toro is available at his Caracas Chronicles blog