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Egomania


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EGOMANIA
Sponagle, Michele. Flare [sign in to see URL] (Nov 2006): 126,128,130,30.

You may be dating him, working for him or related to him, Michele Sponagle finds out what makes the narcissist in your life tick
There's an old joke that neatly sums up the mind-set of a narcissist: "Enough about [sign in to see URL] do you think about me?" Indeed. Such a person puts himself squarely in the centre of the universe, one that revolves around his needs. You may know someone who fits this description. It could be your boss, your boyfriend, your husband or a family member.

You can spot these guys a mile away. Every topic of every conversation seems to shift to him, the keys to his Hummer are plunked down on the table for all to see and he'll attempt to impress with namedropping and flaunting his wealth, success and general fabulousness. Occasional displays of this type of behaviour are commonplace and may be dismissed as just empty chest-puffing.

Because, let's face it, we can all be a bit me-me-me now and then. Our culture is very accepting and downright encouraging of unconditional self-love. Just peruse the shelves of self-help books. You get messages like "You have to love yourself before you can love someone else" and "You're special." Jean Twenge, author of Generation Me: Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled-and More Miserable Than Ever Before, has been tracking the shift in society from "we" to "me." "There's a growing obsession with uniqueness and individuality," she explains. "In the 1950s, 12 percent of respondents agreed with the statement 'I am an important person.' Now, more than 80 percent agree. That signals a significant societal shift in thinking." And it's a trend that shows no signs of slowing down.

But in its darker form, high self-esteem may actually be narcissism. What's the difference? While there's no exact line in the sand, people who have a healthy sense of sell think highly of their attributes and skills. They possess the self-confidence that they will do tine and dandy with most things they tackle, and they have meaningful connections with people. A narcissist, however, has an inflated degree of confidence. The key difference is that he tends not to form close relationships since he is too focused on "I."

And speaking of pronouns, the use of "he" is intentional here. Though women can be narcissists, too, studies say up to 75 percent of narcissists are men. This is troublesome for women because they are run ragged trying to please the narcissistic man in their lives. He is seldom satisfied, so it's a failing proposition. Ironically, it's more often women who end up lying on a shrink's couch, frustrated that they can't seem to please their self-loving partner, boss or family member.

So how can you recognize and navigate around the narcissist in your life? Read on.

THE DATING GAME

Hang on to your hats, ladies. It's going to be a wild ride when you hook up with a narcissist. While dating, you'll be captivated by his charm and his robust assuredness. This magnetic side of his personality may sweep you off your feet before you've had a chance to even digest what's happening.

"Relationships with a narcissist follow a pattern," explains Keith Campbell, a professor of psychology at the University of Georgia and author of When You Love a Man Who Loves Himself.... "At first, he seems competent, outgoing and the life of the party. Then there's a transition where you start seeing the negatives, like his emphasis on material things and self-centredness. Frustration builds when the initial excitement and attraction don't lead to real emotional intimacy. The relationship fails to deepen."

The narcissist comes on strong in the early stages of romance, so it's advisable to shelve your romantic notions long enough to see the warning signs. For a narcissist, no gesture is too grand-cards, flowers, weekends away and plenty of wooing words. And while that sort of passionate romance can be exciting, too much, too fast (that is, jetting to Vegas on date No. 2) generally means the relationship is more about him than it is about you and building a lasting connection together.

If you think you've already hooked up with a narcissist and it's not going well, Toronto psychotherapist Lori Dennis suggests rebuilding your self-esteem through therapy and peer support. A narcissistic partner can make a woman feel as if she's unimportant when he's focused on himsell. "If only I could do more..." she might wonder.

Because narcissists can require high maintenance, their wives or girlfriends may lose their sense of self and become so caught up in his universe that her dreams and wishes are derailed. "Once you recoup some strength, you'll be able to set boundaries as to what behaviours are acceptable and what are not," she says. Campbell agrees and adds that you should find the areas of the relationship that do work and concentrate on those. "Being with a narcissist isn't the end of the world, but you have to realize that it's unlikely you will change him," says Campbell.

IN THE WORKPLACE

Narcissists are poor team players. The way they operate is, "All roads lead to me when it comes to credit tor work well done or good ideas." The narcissist forgets to share the glory but not the blame. The narcissistic boss is one who may leave you frustrated and angry. You're unlikely to make him happy by doing a good job, and if you're too good, he'll feel threatened and seek to sabotage what he sees as your efforts to step into the spotlight he's already claimed for his superstar self. "You have to step back and realize that you're not doing anything wrong," says Dennis. "This is about him. If it gets to the point where your emotional health and well-being are damaged, it's time to decide whether to stay or go."



---
Encyclopedia of Narcissism and Psychopathy

http://samvak.tripod.com/siteindex.html

Buy 16 books and video lectures on 3 DVDs about narcissists, psychopaths, and abusive relationships

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/thebook.html
Sep/28/2016, 9:24 am Link to this post  
 
samvaknin Profile
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Re: Egomania



The narcissistic boss needs a steady diet of praise, so if you give it to him, he may come to depend on you. He'll adore you for feeding his insatiable ego. If you can dish out the compliments and not hate yourself in the morning, this maybe a survival strategy for staying in a job you can't stand to leave. Keep mum about the typo he made on his monthly report because taking criticism isn't his strong point. It compromises the shiny, perfect vision he has of himself.

ALL IN THE FAMILY

Family poses another type of problem. You can quit your job and send your ego-tripping husband or boyfriend packing, but you can't stop being related to someone. You're stuck with dealing with him.

If it's Dad, he may be unforgiving about imperfections in his children since he may see them as extensions of his perfect sell. His kid's flunking physics is seen as catastrophic. If it's a brother, he may fight to be at centre stage of the family. He's the type who constantly boasts about his accomplishments (like how big his last bonus was) and reminds others of his importance by bragging, for example, about how many employees report to him. Confronting the narcissist is likely to be a frustrating and even daunting experience. Such types don't accept blame and may choose, in some cases, to turn the tables and attack you instead.

Dennis puts it this way: "When you're an adult and dealing with family, you decide how much you'll put up with. You're not obligated to take their abuse just because you're related." If you confront the narcissist, talk candidly about your feelings (using clear "I" statements) and explain why their behaviour hurts. "Chances are they're so self-absorbed they might not hear you, but communieating your feelings directly might help to empower you." A certain amount of separation from that individual might be necessary and healthy.

The thing to remember about narcissists is that they are addicts of a sort. Their "fix" comes in the form of adulation. It's what the psych folks call "narcissistic supply"-and they'll do just about anything to keep it coming. The payoff is that they continue to feel special.

Therein lies a whopper of a conundrum. When you feel you're superior to others, it's difficult to accept that you may be the one responsible for any problems in your life and that you need to change. Instead, it's the boss who's an idiot or the ex-wife who's nuts or you made me forget my wallet. Suggesting that he should get help is akin to a slap across the face. It is seen not as a compassionate gesture but one that's meant to humiliate and highlight his imperfection.

In order for some narcissists to seek help, they virtually have to be duct-taped to a chair and wheeled into the office of a mental-health professional. If a crisis hits (job loss, possible divorce, etc.), a narcissist is more likely to go willingly. Talk therapy is considered an effective treatment. A person with some narcissistic tendencies can learn to be more empathetic and to build meaningful relationships. It is much harder, however, for those diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder (or NPD), a more serious form of narcissism that affects less than one percent of the population.

Sam Vaknin, author of Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited (now in its seventh edition), was first diagnosed with NPD in 1986. While he continues to struggle with NPD at home in Skopje, Macedonia, he is helping others to recognize and deal with the condition. "It can't be cured because it is deeply ingrained into one's personality," says Vaknin. "But through therapy, his adaptiition to life and to others can improve."

So it may not be the narcissist's fault entirely for acting like a jerk. Experts do say genes are partly to blame. Also boosting the chances of creating a narcissist is parenting style. It a kid is forever receiving heaps of praise from Mommy and Daddy, he may grow up expecting that from others. Overly permissive parents who fail to place boundaries on a child's behaviour may also help spawn narcissists. Similarly, neglect or abuse of a child is equally damaging.

And let's not forget that we are still in the midst of "Generation Me," where we're bombarded by sell-love, just-be-happy, indulge-yourself messages and stories of nobodies turning into celebrities for doing little more than appearing on a reality TV show. I have my own theory: I'm blaming Whitney Houston. After all, wasn't she the one who sang, "Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all"?

Sidebar
Narcissists require high maintenance, so their wives or girlfriends may lose their sense of self and have their own wishes derailed

Sidebar
"Narcissism cannot be cured. It is deeply ingrained into one's personality, but therapy can help"

AuthorAffiliation
MICHELE SPONAGLE

"Random acts of kindness, like a stranger who picks up your dropped keys for you."

Who: writer and author of Tales from Dog River: The Complete Corner Gas Guide What: explored The science of antiaging in Fabulous Skin Forever (page 91), revealed the trials and tribulations of Egomania (page 126) and traveled south 10 report on one of Canadians' favourite destinations, the Dominican Republic, in Red Hot (page 146) Where: Toronto and the Dominican Republic

---
Encyclopedia of Narcissism and Psychopathy

http://samvak.tripod.com/siteindex.html

Buy 16 books and video lectures on 3 DVDs about narcissists, psychopaths, and abusive relationships

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/thebook.html
Sep/28/2016, 9:25 am Link to this post  
 


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