Saturday, November 03, 2007

Interacting Effectively With Narcissism Forces

Recognizing the presence of narcissistic forces is an important aspect of the transformational process. Moving to the next phase, interacting effectively with narcissistic forces, involves a number of important factors which include: awareness of and freedom from victim complexes, freedom from being intimidated, skills to deal with intimidation efforts, excellent emotional boundaries, accountability skills, skills for building consensus with others in the group, empowering others, and a highly developed inner ability to tolerate frustration and anxiety.

Most people feel victimized by narcissistic forces and narcissists. This is because they have felt consistently oppressed, suppressed, or frustrated by narcissistic forces (e.g. bosses, companies, owners, partners, religious organizations, governments). This becomes problematic in terms of achieving sustainability. When one is in a "victim state," one sees the oppressor as the enemy, as the one with the power, and as a result, the victim is easily manipulated into frustration and anger. The narcissist will utilize this dynamic to incite people into emotional states which can be exploited into distractions from the core issues.

Victim states can be detected by the accent the person puts on "they, them, he or she", which conveys that the other is bad. The most debilitating component of victimhood in terms of sustainability and transformation is that the victim perceives the power as being in the other and outside of oneself. This is in direct opposition to a principle tenet of sustainability that power is shared, and essential power is achieved through collaboration, not dominance.

Narcissistic forces are also critical; they can be harsh in their judgments of anything short of perfection. They can be bullying and abusive in their verbal criticism, daring others to challenge their destructive communication tactics. Their underlying message contains some or all of the following: "I can intimidate you anytime I want. You are afraid to stand up to me, to challenge me. You are weak and spineless. Sometimes I will say something that I know is completely untrue or bullshit just to prove that you won't challenge me." Intimidation is used like a large boulder on a mountain road, saying "deal with me, or go down the mountain, and forget going ahead. I am the roadblock through which you must go."

Bruce Gregory, Ph.D