035-Narcissism

The Me-Me-Me World of Narcissism

Sigmund Freud is probably jumping with joy in his grave to know that the concept of psychoanalytic theory that he introduced in his 1914 essay, "On Narcissism" is still alive and flourishing 101-years later. Of course, this leads one to ask that if psychoanalysis is so great, why are there an ever-growing number of people with mental and personality disorders and why have they not invented a cure for any of these?

It seems that Narcissus has outpaced Oedipus as the myth of the day. Narcissism is at fault for everything from the rise in violent behavior to the dissolution of romances. It has spawned an industry of "reality" shows on television to the basis for a great number of recent novels and movies.

Narcissism in Social Media

It appears that narcissism has grown to epic proportions in the last 30 years. Today, we have Facebook, where everyone seems to be in a race to talk about themselves without regard for others. We are inundated with self-taken photos (selfies), look what I had for lunch, look where I am right now, look who I am standing next to, or the millions of memes about what they believe in or wish to criticize. Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites have become the new online home for the narcissists of the world, and it seems like they are a growing group of individuals in pursuit of egotistic admiration and gratification.

The growing number of self-help books on narcissism attest to the increase, as their are 1,986 best-seller titles available from Amazon at the moment, from "Why Is It Always About You?: The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism" by Sandy Hotchkiss and James F. Masterson M.D. to "How to Survive Loving a Narcissist" by Dr. Andrew M. Goodman. And, there is even a book "The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement" by Jean M. Twenge and W. Keith Campbell that could have been the title of this article, had I not changed it after noticing it was already in use.

Narcissism in Song Lyrics

Recent studies, from the article, "Tuning in to psychological change: Linguistic markers of psychological traits and emotions over time in popular U.S. song lyrics", published in the Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, have shown a rise in narcissistic behavior in song lyrics over the past 30 years, with a growth in the use of first-person singular pronouns that reflect a greater focus on the self, references to antisocial behavior, as well as a diminution of words reflecting a focus on others, positive emotions, and social interactions.

Narcissism in Mass Media

Similar patterns of change in cultural narcissism have been noted in the linguistic analysis of publications finding that the use of self-focused and individualistic terms have increased in frequency by 69% while collectivist terms declined by 32%. References to narcissism and self-esteem in popular print media have experienced vast inflation since the late 1980s. Since 1987 direct mentions of self-esteem in leading newspapers and magazines have increased by 4,540% while narcissism, which had been almost non-existent in the press during the 1970s, is today a commonplace topic.

Indeed, narcissism is so prevalent in our culture that it seems we all know someone who is overly arrogant, shows an extreme lack of empathy, or exhibits an inflated sense of entitlement for having their unrealistic expectations met. Those that exploit others and place them on a guilt trip by not accepting any guilt or responsibility of their own.

Indeed, they will make others personally responsible for their every need and if their expectations are not met, they act with aggression in the most frustrating, and intimidating manner, threatening you with abandonment from the center of their universe, because as a narcissistic personality, they are much happier to be alone than with a loving and caring partner. They have no idea of compassion or empathetic communication, making it extremely difficult to get your point across, as they are constantly interrupting you simply because they do not care about your feelings.

Traits of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

One book suggests that power-hungry narcissists typically display most, and sometimes all, of the following narcissistic personality disorder traits:

  • An obvious self-focus in interpersonal exchanges
  • Problems in sustaining healthy and satisfying relationships
  • Constant abandonment in relationships
  • Statements of blame toward others
  • Refusal to accept guilt for their actions
  • A lack of psychological awareness
  • Constantly pointing out that they are happier when alone
  • Difficulty with empathy towards others feelings
  • Problems distinguishing the self from others
  • Possesses an inflated sense of entitlement to act in an inappropriate manner
  • Hypersensitivity to any insults or imagined insults
  • Inability to accept any responsibility for their own needs
  • Shaming others without accepting guilt for having done so
  • Intimidates others with aggression for not meeting their expectations
  • Would rather hear their own voice and insist on interrupting others
  • Flattery towards people who admire and affirm them
  • Bestowing gifts on others in order to buy attention
  • Detesting and abusive behavior towards those who do not provide their needs
  • Using other people without considering the cost of doing so
  • Pretending to be more important than they really are
  • Refusal to listen to or accept others points of view
  • Inability to view the world from the perspective of other people
  • Denial of remorse and gratitude
Don't bother showing this list to your narcissistic friend, as they will most certainly deny that they actually have any of those traits.

Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism

In their book mentioned above authors Sandy Hotchkiss and James Masterson identified what she called the Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism:

Shamelessness: Shame is the feeling that lurks beneath all unhealthy narcissism, and the inability to process shame in healthy ways.

Magical thinking: Narcissists love to point out that others think they are perfect, as a way of using counter distortion and perpetuate illusion known as magical thinking. They use projection of their own idealization of perfectionism to dump shame onto others.

Arrogance: A narcissist who is feeling deflated may re-inflate by diminishing, debasing, or degrading somebody else.

Envy: A narcissist may secure a sense of superiority in the face of another person's ability by using contempt to minimize the other person.

Entitlement: Narcissists hold unreasonable expectations of particularly favorable treatment and automatic compliance because they consider themselves special. Failure to comply is considered an attack on their superiority, and the perpetrator is considered an "awkward" or "difficult" person. Defiance of their will is a narcissistic injury that can trigger narcissistic rage and they dump you from their world.

Exploitation: Can take many forms but always involves the exploitation of others without regard for their feelings or interests. Often the other is in a subservient position where resistance would be difficult or even impossible. Sometimes the subservience is not so much real as assumed.

Bad boundaries: Narcissists do not recognize that they have boundaries and that others are separate and are not extensions of themselves. Others either exist to meet their needs or may as well not exist at all. Those who provide narcissistic supply to the narcissist are treated as if they are part of the narcissist and are expected to live up to those expectations. In the mind of a narcissist, there is no boundary between self and other.

Healthy Narcissism

Yes, there is healthy narcissism, just as there is destructive narcissism. Narcissism is present in everyone, and most people have a tendency toward healthy narcissism. People generally seek out others that exhibit the same qualities present in themselves. It is only when you have become deeply involved in a relationship that you may realize that other person possesses qualities that are more or less than your own. The person with healthy narcissism will attempt to work with the destructive narcissist in an attempt to promote a healthy relationship, where the destructive narcissist will only work on destroying the relationship.

Roy Lubit MD, Ph.D. is board certified in Forensic Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and Psychiatry and Neurology. He proposed the following:

Characteristic Healthy Narcissism Destructive Narcissism
Self-confidence High outward self-confidence in line with reality Grandiose
Desire for power, wealth and admiration May enjoy power Pursues power at all costs, lacks normal inhibitions in its pursuit
Relationships Real concern for others and their ideas; does not exploit or devalue others No concern for others. Will start and stop relationships multiple times in order to exploit others without remorse. Places limits on others. High expectations of having their needs met
Ability to follow a consistent path Has values; follows through on plans Lacks values; easily bored; often changes course
Foundation Healthy childhood with support for self-esteem and appropriate limits on behavior towards others Traumatic childhood with parents who were absent or undercutting true sense of self-esteem and/or teaching that he/she doesn't need to be considerate of others

The Good News

People that are high in narcissism may also be fun to be with, charismatic, and actually very good at what they do. Not all narcissists are alike. The healthy narcissistic, if given a choice, can "reform" the destructive narcissistic and help to create a highly desirable relationship. The destructive narcissist will benefit from learning from the healthy narcissist how to recover from being "over the top" and tone down their needs to a more healthy and realistic set of expectations that result in an improved lifestyle.

Advice for the Healthy Narcissist

When you interact with a friend, family member, intimate partner, or coworker who is a narcissist, there's no give and take. The relationship only goes one way-their way-and you constantly have to adjust your own expectations and behavior to meet their standards. That's because people with narcissistic personality disorder, are preoccupied with seeking admiration and power and find it difficult to empathize with others' feelings. And, as if maintaining a good relationship with a narcissist weren't hard enough, most narcissists do not realize or believe that they have a disorder at all. However, there are ways to effectively improve and ultimately transform your relationship with the self-absorbed, self-centered, or narcissistic individuals in your life.

Your best course of action is to understand the mind of a narcissist and how narcissistic behavior affects the way you feel, think, and behave around this person. You need to learn practical strategies for making yourself heard during interactions with a narcissist. Eventually, you'll be able to have regular contact with self-absorbed individuals comfortably, effectively, and without frustration.

The first step is in realizing that the destructive narcissist has a great fear of being vulnerable. They are prone to exaggerations of emotions; extreme sadness, outbursts of crying, demanding, anger, threats, refusal of your ideas, blaming you for not meeting their unrealistic expectations, and much more.

While you will have your hands full in attempting to assist them in toning down their needs, if successful you will find that they can be lovable and fun to be around. It all depends on how hard you want to work at helping them and how much time you are willing to invest in the person. However, some destructive narcissists are so deeply entrenched in their ways that your attempts will only be met with rejection and treated in a manner that will prove to be difficult to handle for anyone who is not strong of character. You will be prepared to fight your own emotions at every turn and you must be ready for the rejection that you will face.

The destructive narcissist may truly believe in their own greatness and they may even be almost as good as they think they are. They do have strong character traits that if toned down a bit will make your time and energy a worthwhile investment.

Psychologist Vincent Egan led research with a group of his colleagues into determining the relationship between subjective well-being and narcissistic personality tendencies. Previously, narcissistic behavior was divided between "vulnerable" and "grandiose" types.

  • A vulnerable narcissist’s outward shell of self-centeredness and self-absorption often masks a weak inner core.
  • A grandiose narcissist truly believes in their own greatness—and has moved to extremes of narcissism.

Both are varieties of narcissism, but particularly those of the grandiose type may share the larger “Dark Triad” traits, along with so-called "Machiavellianism" (manipulativeness) and psychopathy (lack of remorse and empathy).

People high in both narcissism and Machiavellianism, Egan and his colleagues pointed out, are the ones who really get under your skin. Their antagonism makes them particularly hard to live with, and they’ll almost always get in the way of the healthy narcissist accomplishing their goals. Machiavellian narcissists have mastered the art of one-uppance as they try to show their superiority while steamrolling over everyone else’s feelings and opinions.

In their study, Egan and his colleagues pointed out that no previous researchers had looked at the role of emotions, especially positive emotions, in studies of the Dark Triad. They believed that narcissism might have differing relationships to happiness than would psychopathy and Machiavellianism. In other words, it might be possible to be a happy narcissist—but less possible to be a happy psychopath or manipulator.

In the study, participants were rated with a personality test that provided ratings on the “Big Five” or “Five Factor” traits of Extroversion, Emotional Stability/Neuroticism, Agreeableness, Openness to Experience, and Conscientiousness. They also rated their “Dark Triad” personality qualities. Their subjective well-being was assessed with one scale measuring happiness and another measuring their satisfaction with life.

After condensing and analyzing the scores on all of these measures, Egan and his colleagues were able to identify 4 groups within the sample:

  1. vulnerable narcissists
  2. grandiose narcissists
  3. overall unhappiness; a group identified by their overall unhappiness with their lives with high narcissism scores; and
  4. overall happiness; a group identified by overall happiness of their lives and with low narcissism scores.

Comparing the groups of narcissists, Egan and his colleagues found that the grandiose narcissists tended to be happier, more extroverted, and more emotionally stable. The vulnerable narcissists were less agreeable, less emotionally stable, and higher in the other Dark Triad traits of manipulativeness and psychopathy.

Theodore Millon was a psychologist known for his work on personality disorders. He identified five additional variations of narcissistic behavior. Any individual narcissist may exhibit none or one of the following:

  • unprincipled narcissist: possesses antisocial features, is a fraudulent, exploitative, deceptive and unscrupulous individual
  • amorous narcissist: prone to histrionic features, is often erotic, exhibitionistic
  • compensatory narcissist: will be negative (passive-aggressive), and have avoidant features of not accepting blame or guilt
  • elitist narcissist: variant of pure pattern. Corresponds to Wilhelm Reich's "phallic narcissistic" personality type

Campbell and Foster (2007) review the literature on narcissism. They argue that narcissists possess the following "basic ingredients":

  • Positive: Narcissists think they are better than others.
  • Inflated: Narcissists' views tend to be contrary to reality. In measures that compare self-report to objective measures, narcissists' self-views tend to be greatly exaggerated.
  • Agentic: Narcissists’ views tend to be most exaggerated in the agentic domain, relative to the communion domain.
  • Special: Narcissists perceive themselves to be unique and special people.
  • Selfish: Research upon narcissists’ behavior in resource dilemmas supports the case for narcissists as being selfish.
  • Oriented toward success: Narcissists are oriented towards success by being, for example, approach oriented.

It is important that you understand the differences between the 4 groups and know what you are working with. Obviously, if you are attempting to work with the vulnerable narcissist, you will have less work on your hands.

Let's review the concepts above with the understanding that many narcissists fall into more than one group type:

Type Traits
Vulnerable outward shell of self-centeredness and self-absorption often masks a weak inner core
Destructive truly believes in their own greatness—and has moved to extremes of narcissism.
Unhappy overall unhappiness with their lives with high narcissism scores
Happy overall happiness of their lives and with low narcissism scores
Unprincipled possesses antisocial features, is a fraudulent, exploitative, deceptive and unscrupulous individual
Amorous prone to histrionic features,engaging members of the opposite gender in the game of sexual temptation, there is an indifferent conscience, an aloofness to truth and social responsibility that, if brought to the amorous narcissist's attention, elicits an attitude of nonchalant innocence, totally self-oriented
Compensatory will be negative (passive-aggressive), most suffered wounds in early life, may have been exposed to experiences of negativistic, avoidant, and antisocial types and in essence, these personalities seek to make up or compensate for early life deprivations; seldom accept blame or guilt for their actions due to their learned behavior
Elitist self-assured, arrogant, energetic, often impressive in his bearing, and are ill suited to subordinate positions, more taken with their inflated self-image than with their actual self
Positive they think they are better than others.
Inflated views tend to be contrary to reality. In measures that compare self-report to objective measures, narcissists' self-views tend to be greatly exaggerated.
Agentic views tend to be most exaggerated in the agentic domain, relative to the communion domain.
Special perceive themselves to be unique and special people.
Selfish research upon behavior in resource dilemmas supports the case of being selfish
Oriented toward Success oriented towards success by being, for example, approach oriented.

Let’s examine ways that you can better deal with destructive narcissism:

  1. Determine which type you’re dealing with. There are vulnerable narcissists do not feel particularly good about themselves at heart. In contrast to grandiose narcissists, they’re less likely to show emotions, and so you might not realize when a grandiose narcissist is undercutting your desire to be happy. The grandiose narcissist might be your best ally, albeit with more work—as long as you can get that person on board with your overall goals of happiness for both you and the other person.
  2. Acknowledge your annoyance. Narcissists can be antagonistic towards you and cause you to show emotions that you do not wish to exhibit. If you’re trying to get something done, and one person is always interrupting or trying to place more emphasis on himself or herself, recognizing where your frustration is coming from can help give you the strength you need to put a stop to it. You need to tell the narcissist that you are annoyed with their behavior. They will attempt to reject you and place the blame back onto you, but you must resist allowing them to get to you emotionally.
  3. Appreciate where the behavior comes from. Vulnerable narcissists need to make themselves feel better about themselves, which is why they can become sneaky and undercutting. They may question your authority just to create mischief. Once you recognize that they are coming from a place of insecurity, you can provide them with just enough reassurance to get them to settle down and focus on what needs to be done. Too much reassurance and you'll fan their egocentric flames, but the right amount will allow them to calm down and get to the task at hand.
  4. Evaluate the context. Narcissism is not an all-or-nothing personality trait. Some situations may elicit a person’s insecurities more than others. Let’s say a person in your life experienced a failed relationship (or several) and he or she is attempting to judge you based on her past relationships. They are fearful that this new relationship will turn out just like the others. Their insecurity will only worsen with time, leading them to become defensively narcissistic, vindictive, and attempt to label you in ways that mirror their past relationship. If you know a person like this, it's important to remember that the situation helped create the monster with whom you must now interact.
  5. Maintain a positive outlook. If you are dealing with narcissists who derive pleasure from watching others suffer, then seeing the pain they cause will only assist them on to more aggressive counter-behavior. Don’t look ruffled, even if you’re feeling annoyed, and eventually that behavior will diminish in frequency. Furthermore, by keeping the previous suggestions in mind, you may be able to help ease the situation so things actually improve.
  6. Don’t let yourself get derailed. It’s easy to lose your own sense of purpose or goals when a narcissist tries to take center stage. You don’t need to attend to everything this person says or does, no matter how much he or she clamors for your attention. Find the balance between moving forward in the direction you want to pursue with the person and alleviating the vulnerable narcissist's anxieties and insecurities. If it's a grandiose type of narcissist, you may want to acknowledge his or her feelings but then proceed.
  7. Keep your sense of humor. Calling a narcissist’s bluff may mean that you ignore the person, but it might also mean that you meet that bluff with a laugh at least once in a while. Without being cruel about it, you can point to the inappropriateness of the person’s egocentric behavior with a smile or joke. This would be particularly appropriate for the grandiose type of narcissist, who will probably find it entertaining and possibly instructive.
  8. Recognize that the person may need help. Because some narcissists truly have low self-esteem and profound feelings of inadequacy, it’s important to recognize when they can benefit from professional intervention. Despite the belief that personality is immutable, psychotherapy research shows that people can change even long-standing behaviors. Bolstering the individual’s self-esteem may not be something you can tackle on your own, but it is something you can work on with outside help.

Advice for Destructive Narcissists

Your fear of vulnerability has left a lot of wreckage in your past. Failed relationships, a constant fear of rejection powered by a sense of unworthiness, the panic attacks created by those indelibly terrifying experiences of your past, the abandonment, the terror that surfaces when you feel unprotected, the knot in your stomach that turns into irritable bowel syndrome and then ulcers, or worse. Your unhappiness with others doesn't have to be a lifestyle that you must suffer through. There is a better model of yourself, hidden deep-down inside you, waiting for a release, and bringing you a life of peace, serenity and tranquility, where you can be happy for the rest of your life.

You can make the fear go away!

Every person has that responsibility to our self. When we attempt to delegate that responsibility to others, we just as often wind up being despising of them – and they of us. It is a fact of life that by asking our partners to be responsible for our inner self, our relationship becomes eroded. The partner, over time, come to resent the responsibility that you saddled them with, and they lose respect for you.

In the long run, we expect a certain equality of self-responsibility. You alone must find a way of dealing with the panic that can well up at moments that recapitulate very threatening earlier experiences. Bad things happened to you, none caused by you, but they had a huge impact on your sense of self.

If you have read this far into this article and are still here, there is no better time to begin working on attaining your goals. You are in a perfect position to critically examine your deep-seated beliefs and feelings about yourself that have their roots in the past. It is likely that you will need some help in doing it, because it may be painful before it will be triumphal. If you are in a relationship with someone that you want to be with, then obviously, there is more at stake to compel your to face your own inner self.

You have three choices to finally get rid of the fear and start living a better life. These are in order of preference to attain the goals that you need to set:

  1. Throw money at the problem: If you have the financial resources to do so, seek out an excellent therapist that specializes in Narcissistic Personality Disorder and place your trust in them to attune you to your very formidable survival skills.
  2. Give your trust to one special person: Find that special friend that will be willing to invest the time and effort into creating a relationship with you based on peace, serenity and tranquility and your future happiness. Listen to them, much more than your speak. Carefully consider their sense of annoyance with your behavior and make the changes to bring yourself more in line with their happiness.
  3. Buy the best book that you can find: Hopefully you can find one with a long range plan, complete with examples and exercises that you can follow to help you along your path. It will take much longer to recover from your fears, but if you do not have the financial resources or that special someone in your life that is willing to assist you, it may be the only solution left.

Steps To Take Toward Success

Ultimately there are some steps that you should consider taking:

1. Focus primarily on the others in your life that you deeply care about or want to remain in your life.

2. Place your trust in these persons and put their needs above yours a bit at a time, as you begin to feel more comfortable in doing so.

3. Listen much more than you speak and consider the things that you will learn about the other person that will bring the two of you closer together.

4. Develop new attitudes toward anger, unhappiness or sadness. Don't allow them to take over your life. Learn to take a break and calm down before these emotions become overwhelming. Learn to stay calm. If you are with a partner, interact only when both of you are cool.

5. Avoid erupting in anger if you believe that you are a victim and make threats or give the other person ultimatums. Anger outbursts often develop into a form of bullying; "If you don't do what I want it will hurt my feelings and I will leave you!" is the cry of a troubled narcissist. This is inappropriate in the eyes of the other and creates a relationship based on coercion – not love or cooperation. It can only produce an inability to sustain positive gratifying relationships.

6. Stay calm. Everyone gets angry – even Buddhist monks, according to Zen Master Thích Nhất Hạnh. Even young children get mad – often. However, while it is normal for even mature adults to become angry and frustrated over even the smallest of things, frequent anger outbursts are totally incompatible with mature relationships.

7. Avoid disagreeable phrases. People will often disagree with others, however, phrases such as, "what I want", "what I want you to do", "I don't care what you think", "I don't want to listen to you", and "that's your opinion" will only block the absorption of information from others about their opinions and preferences. Thinking in either-or, winner-loser patterns worsens the problem.  "I don't want to hear what you want or think" is often finished with, "because then I may not get my way or win the discussion."

8. Take others' perspectives into account. Train yourself to take others' perspectives more seriously. It is a key antidote in the art and skill of listening. Retrain yourself to ask others what they think and feel.  Seek to understand and become responsive to others' concerns when you and they differ.

9. Find agreement. As others answer your questions, focus on what makes sense about their perspective. Listen for what you "can" agree with, not on what you want to disagree with. It is a common communication trait to understand that if the other person does not openly agree with you on a statement, then they are being kind in not disagreeing. Comment favorably on what you can agree with before moving forward to add your own perspective.

10. Learn to really listen. To accomplish true listening you'll need to dump the word "but" from your vocabulary. The word "but" negates your prior agreement.  It subtracts, dismisses and eliminates whatever came before, undoing your initial good efforts to understand others' points.  Instead of using "but", link others' thoughts and yours with either "and" or "and at the same time".  That way instead of indulging in the patterns of ignoring and disputing others' viewpoints, you will begin to be able to add others' viewpoints to your own.  I.e., you will begin to shift from "My viewpoints are the only ones that count"  to "There's two of us here and both of our perspectives matter."

11. Don't personalize. You should not tend to block data regarding others' feelings. When another feels sad, anxious or upset, the response should not be to personalize it. That is, do not take the others' feelings as critical statements about you. Be supportive when others express negative emotions like anger or sadness.

12. Avoid arguments. Implement early exits from conversations at the first signs of your emerging anger. If you cease to engage in arguments, there will no longer be arguments. Instead stand and remove yourself from the argument. Pleasantly excuse yourself to go get a drink of water, and exit the room.  Return as soon as you feel calmed.  Initiate positive conversation on a safe topic before returning eventually to the original difficult issue.

13. Validate others. When others do not agree with you, attempt to see it from their standpoint and suggest alternatives that you can live with. Digest their feelings and validate an alternative perspective. Then put yours back on the table. Become an expert in saying, "Yes, ...., and at the same time....."  

A: "Why don't we go out to dinner, tonight?"

B: "I am really tired and don't feel up to going out."

A: "Yes, I should have seen that you are tired. And at the same time I'm up for enjoying something different tonight. I'd be glad to order in some Chinese that we could share here in the house. And, perhaps we could watch a movie afterwards?"

This strategy enables you to give the other person a second and even third opportunity to hear you. Most people do better on their later drafts of writing, and also of listening. In addition, after your partner feels heard, she or he is more likely to be able to relax enough to be able to hear your perspective as well.

14. Radiate. Everyone relaxes when we feel loved and valued. The more agreement, affection, appreciation, smiles, sexual affection, hugs and other positives you shower on others, the happier you both will be.

15. Freeze your fears. When you feel the need to Fight or Flight coming on, remember that there is a third choice; to Freeze. Simply do not do anything for the moment. Your fears will diminish if you do not feed them.

16. Be demonstrative. Show others interest in a warm and caring interpersonal manner. Do not become defensive or offensive.

17. Be self-regulating. Strive to feel positive, happy, loving, caring, loose and conscious of your ability to make others feel the same. Avoid blaming, criticism, rigidness, totalistic, shaming, placing guilt, abusive.

18. Do not seek constant approval. Most people will go out of their way to give you their approval and admiration if given the chance. However, by asking for their approval or demanding their admiration, you are only driving them away from you.

19. Be giving – not demanding. People no more like demands being placed on them than you do. It never works for long as they become annoyed at having to meet your demands without reciprocation and eventually walk away.

20. Accept change and it will happen naturally. Yes, often all that is needed is a change of attitude from, "I can't change and neither can you!" to "I accept that change is possible!"

Resources

In order to write this article, I went through several weeks of research in which I accumulated a number of reference resources. As they are in the public domain, I will share them with you below. You can download these as PDFs that can be read on your computer, iPad and most smart phones with the free Adobe Reader software. Click here to download any or all of the resource files listed below...Or you may click on any individual resource below to download just that resource.

  1. The Dark Triad of Personality: Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and Psychopathy, Delroy L. Paulhus and Kevin M. Williams, University of British Columbia
  2. Teaching Generation Me, Jean M. Twenge, Department of Psychology, San Diego State University
  3. Mind-Reading and Metacognition; Narcissism, Not Actual Competence, Predicts Self-Estimated Ability, Daniel R. Ames and Lara K. Kammrath Columbia Business School and Department of Psychology, Columbia University
  4. Narcissism and Social Networking Web Sites, Laura E. Buffardi and W. Keith Campbell, University of Georgia
  5. Rethinking "Generation Me": A Study of Cohort Effects from 1976-2006, Kali H. Trzenniewski and M. Brent, University of Western Ontario and Michigan State University
  6. Co-Narcissism: How We Accommodate to Narcissistic Parents, Alan Rappoport, Ph.D.
  7. DSM-IV and DSM-5 Criteria for the Personality Disorders, American Psychiatric Association
  8. Loving Yourself Abundantly: Relationship of the Narcissistic Personality to Self- and Other Perceptions of Workplace Deviance, Leadership, and Task and Contextual Performance, Timothy A. Judge, Jeffery A. LePine, and Bruce L. Rich, University of Florida
  9. Narcissism, Narcissists, and Abusive Relationships, Epistolary Dialog between: Stephen McDonnell and Sam Vaknin, Ph.D.
  10. Malignant Self Love: Narcissism Revisited, 167 page eBook, Sam Vaknin, Ph.D.
  11. What Make Narcissists Tick: Understanding Narcissistic Personality Disorder, 506 page eBook, Kathy Krajco
  12. A Principal-Components Analysis of the Narcissistic Personality Inventory and Further Evidence of Its Construct Validity, Robert Raskin, The Institute of Personality Assessment and Research. University of California, Berkeley, and Howard Terry, The Institute of Human Development, University of California, Berkeley
  13. Narcissism on Facebook: Self-Promotional and Anti-Social Behavior,
    Christopher J. Carpenter, Department of Communication, Western Illinois University
  14. Social Exclusion Decreases Prosocial Behavior, Jean M. Twenge, San Diego State University, Roy F. Baumeister and C. Nathan DeWall, Florida State University, Natalie J. Ciarocco, Florida Atlantic University and J. Michael Bartels, San Diego State University
  15. A Brief History of Narcissism, 208 page eBook, SH Konrath
  16. Narcissism Book of Quotes: A Selection of Quotes from the Collective Wisdom of Over 12,000 Individual Discussions, Sam Vaknin, Ph.D.
  17. Egos Inflating Over Time: A Cross-Temporal Meta-Analysis of the Narcissistic Personality Inventory, Jean M. Twenge, San Diego State University, Sara Konrath, University of Michigan, Joshua D. Foster, University of South Alabama, W. Keith Campbell, University of Georgia, and Brad J. Bushman, University of Michigan
  18. Declines in Trust in Others and Confidence in Institutions Among American Adults and Late Adolescents, 1972–2012, Jean M. Twenge, San Diego State University, W. Keith Campbell, University of Georgia, and Nathan T. Carter, University of Georgia
  19. Two Faces of Narcissism, Paul Wink, Institute of Personality Assessment and Research, University of California Berkeley

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