Narcissists aren’t what you think they are. We throw the word around so liberally these days that it’s almost been drained of real meaning. But narcissists are real. Narcissists are dangerous. We need to know how to spot them before we become enmeshed in their web of psychological warfare.
First of all, narcissists are not the same as egotists. They actually don’t think they’re amazing and then try to force their amazingness on the rest of us. On the contrary, they have such a damaged and fragile sense of themselves that they rely on outside input to feel that they exist at all. They have no self-esteem safety-net and instead live a desperate existence in which they try to make everything about them.
Lacking a core sense of self means you endlessly try to calibrate and maintain it in relation to other people. That means drama, mind games, and a brutal disregard of other people’s lives and agency.
But Robert Greene reveals a still more disturbing truth which we dig into in this episode. We are all on the narcissist spectrum. We all see the world with us at its centre. We find ourselves waiting to speak rather than listening to others. We take things too personally and react with anger rather than trying to put ourselves in others’ shoes and think about what lies behind their words and their actions.
This episode provides you with a toolkit for recognising deep narcissists before they entangle you (because at first they will seem incredibly warm, charming and insightful). But it also turns the magnifying glass back on ourselves so that we can strive to become healthy, empathetic narcissists. We can’t disown our nature, but we can certainly do the personal work to make ourselves better, kinder and more effective humans.
Jon and Andrea open up about their own narcissistic tendencies, the mistakes they’ve made, and the narcissists they’ve survived. We talk about abusive bosses, partners and mentors… and in the process pull back the curtain on Andrea’s time at London Real to tell you who Brian Rose really is.
- How perturbation points shape who we are
- Fucking up your kids
- The virtues of silence
- Treating people as ends, not means
- The healthy narcissist and how to become one
- Social Justice narcissists
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