What The Narcissist Needs

  I was shocked. This guy was giving me the missing key, the key to why some people’s marriages get better and some people’s don’t. Why hadn’t I thought of this? One simple, not so easy, but simple, nevertheless, solution. I was telling him, “Think about it. Think about how your wife would feel when you say those things to her.” And he said, “I usually don’t think about things like that.” “Yes, I hear you. You don’t usually think about people’s feelings and how they would react to things. I get that. But you want things better in your marriage, so I’m asking you to think about it.” “Well, what am I supposed to think about?” he asked, genuinely puzzled. “You’ve told me it hurts her feelings and I don’t see why it would. What else should I think about?” Now, I was puzzled. He is obviously not one of those people who loses sleep at night worrying about what other people think of him or his deeds. He doesn’t lose sleep at night saying to himself, “If I had done this, then maybe they would have done that.” He doesn’t wonder what will happen going forward, either; he doesn’t toss different scenarios around in his mind at 3 AM thinking that what he really needs to do is X. Or maybe it should be Y. Or maybe Z. He doesn’t worry. Well, that’s good, right? Not to be a worrier? Well, sure, but… There are extremes of everything. Worrying about the future when it’s basically out of your control is a foolish expense of psychic energy. Worrying in...

How to Love a Narcissist

How to love a narcissist: Sounds like a contradiction, right? A narcissist, by definition, is so absorbed in himself that he is unable to love someone else. Therefore, all the love you give him just gets sucked up into that vast pit that is him – and you never get anything back. That’s what I always thought. And the most obvious thing here is that nearly every therapist would agree with me. Short of the Anti-Social Personality Disorder, they’d all agree that a narcissist is just about incurable. Sites devoted to healing – where the site owner believes in healing – say nothing about how to cure a narcissist. I hadn’t given this particular malady special attention. I believe that it is possible for most people to heal from whatever ails them, so why leave narcissism out? But then I had an enlightening conversation. A friend of mine was mentioning her narcissistic mother. This mother had emotionally tortured my friend growing up and now she keeps a psychological distance although they are in touch sometimes during the week – by text. My friend’s son was at his grandmother’s and my friend’s mother commented on how happy her grandson seemed since he got into the college of his choice. “But,” her mother started to say, “it’s so expensive. And it’s so far away,” and continued a litany of objections. “I don’t know what to do with my mother,” my friend concluded. “Tell her to be happy for her grandson,” I said. What, Exactly Is Narcissism? (And It’s Not What You Think) My friend didn’t see what value that statement had,...
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