April 20, 2017

Healthy Narcissism: Telling Children They Are Special

The Queen of Sheba by Edward Slocombe
I am old enough to remember when religious aunts lectured on the sins of wasteful living, reminding us people were starving in China and how could we be so selfish as to throw out a brown banana. Watchful uncles reprimanded nieces and nephews neglecting to relinquish seats to pregnant women or old women or anyone six months their senior. Remaining seated while back-bent elders shifted on life-worn feet was the penultimate of mortal sins how terrible. (I can imagine my stickler of a grandmother's wide-eyed horror at the spectacle of 21st century manspreading).

"Who do you think you are?" they'd scold. "The Queen o' Sheba?"

Pause Reading for a Musical Prologue 
Arrival of the Queen of Sheba by G.F. Handel


I am not too old to remember my mother giving me the side-eye for entering too many competitions and winning more contests than deemed felicitous for a gender-appropriate daughter. "Pride cometh before a fall," she cautioned, lecturing on corruptible vices,  pride being the mother lode of sin. Under her critical tutelage, my competitive drive slowed to a ladylike pace and then I married a man who taught me everything a mother never could about wrath, greed, lust and vanity. He had no compunctions against being extraordinarily special and he wasn't as occupied as myself, shushing a chorus of internalized voices nagging me to know my place, to remember the less fortunate, to respect my elders, to stop embarrassing my mother.

I tried silencing their voices but this led to rocky relationships requiring humble pies and downcast eyes because you can't love people and be loved back if you believe you're especially more special than they. Good people will cut you off like the spoiled bits of an Idaho potato and when you love loving people as much as I love loving people, you'll abdicate your throne and admit the error of your ways. You are special and this is valuable knowledge; but you aren't too special for rules. Rules are meant for everyone, even the Queen of Sheba. Cue humility and Handel.
"Age-appropriate narcissism is a concept based on the notion that we grow and develop in our ability to become separate and differentiated people and that this is a process that begins at birth and continues throughout life." ~Nina W. Brown 
A well-developed conscience requires the right nudge at the right time to awaken from its narcissistic slumber through what some people call the Best Years of Our Lives. The years of seeing ourselves as extra-ordinarily special, with unlimited possibilities and never a thought to the impermanence of life. The unquestioned assumption of being ninety with a face of sixteen and the limber dance of twenty-five. I indulge now and then in ancient memories of teenage narcissism, the glorious flooding of narcissism cramming every cell of my body with a sense of immortality and potential. I think about youthful grandiosity and how we must sacrifice childish narcissism in the quest for self, always a balancing act between caring for others and for ourselves. Healthy maturation is a lifelong journey. We need all the help we can get.

G.F. Handel, "18th Century Manspreading?" 
My Family

I love remembering apron-ed Aunts in crowded kitchens, more worried about their feather-light biscuits than derrières. Maybe it bothered them gaining weight, we wouldn't know, they never talked about it. They never apologized for their ample size; good character being more valuable than something they didn't struggle to achieve---like becoming movie star gorgeous and fashionable. I am lucky to have known a generation of women who didn't compare themselves to images they couldn't embody; to have had long conversations without the dreary mention of diets and celebrities.

Knowing they were special, and me too by extension, exceeded the superficiality of flesh. This is the kind of self-worth people need in order to love themselves and others: a self-love so embodied it can't be destroyed by the vicissitudes of life, nor shaken by life's uncertainties. A self-love assertive enough to confront Handel about keeping his damn legs together. (My grandmother would have confronted the patriarchy about Handel's inappropriate display and the patriarchy would have dutifully strapped his legs together because biscuits).

Knowing you are special is a fine thing binding us to one another because we know we are worthy of relationship, deserving of love, and capable of loving others. Our love has value. With the accompanying self-assurance of feeling special, we are less afraid to invest our hearts in relationships. Narcissism, the feeling of being special, fosters meaningful connections with others and with ourselves.

On the contrary, believing we are way more special than anyone else sets us apart, trading meaningful connections for the emptiness and isolation of unhealthy narcissism.

Knowing we are special is a blessing and this is what my relatives hoped to teach me. The people I saw as special also saw me as special and this became the ground beneath my feet when everything that mattered slipped away. It's times like that, when your life has been devastated by profound disappointment and loss, that healthy narcissism allows us to grieve our losses without losing our selves in the suffering.
"Healthy narcissism boils down to striking the right balance. At the heart of narcissism lies an ancient conundrum: how much should we love ourselves and how much should we love others? The Judaic sage and scholar Hillel the Elder summarized the dilemma this way: "If I am not for myself, who am I? If I am only for myself, then what am I?" ~Craig Malkin, Rethinking Narcissism (pg. 14) 
Portrait of his family by Cornelis de Vos

My Family's Secret
I'd like to share a secret about my family because there's honest-to-God no group of people who believe they are more special than the family I was born into. Even my ex would corroborate the peculiarity of our indefatigable self-esteem. He joked about my collection of relatives obviously taking more pride in a day's labor than reflections in a mirror. Oh, they were respectably clean, even spotlessly so, carrying white handkerchiefs for spitting into and wiping on children's faces should jam spoil toothy grins. I never saw an unclean or beautiful relative in my sixty years of family reunions, yet they believed they were special because each generation had been told they were special, the tradition handed down like a recipe for self-rising bread. You know the yeasty sour dough that multiplies on its own if you save a bit of starter for the next batch? Yea. That's the kind of healthy narcissism my family stores in five-gallon buckets. If Dr. Malkin researched genetic narcissism, he could use my family as a profound example of it.

"My Family Reunion  Portrait"
I've pondered my family's heritable resiliency but only recently come to understand the value of older generations telling younger generations they were special. "You may not be the Queen of Sheba, CZ, but you're the queen of hearts in this family". Being told over and over how special I am and always have been, lifted me to my feet when life knocked me down. Falling face first in the dirt has happened more than once, though never as gawdawful as the time I competed for my husband's love and lost. Bless my inner tabernacle choir for getting me out of that mess. Hallelujah!

Here's the Deal: Being Special is a Responsibility

My family took more pride in preserving our good name than breaking free and making one for ourselves. They were farmers in Europe becoming farmers in America losing money more years than they profited. They still ended up wealthy in spite of predictable setbacks curiously declared unpredictable. My relatives never measured themselves by failure, never wavered from proclaiming themselves successful. They trusted everything would work out swell and then set their minds to the task. It's worth repeating as I've written before: my family has nerves of steel and wills of iron and everyone agrees who's known a single one of us. We are resilient I think, because each person in my family inherited their own pair of hand-me-down rose-colored glasses and we're only too pleased to be wearing 'em.

If someone had asked my grandmother, "What makes me special?" she'd have replied, "You were born in this family. That's why you're special." If I'd have queried her about who was more special, me or my cousins, she'd have told me to grab knee pads and beg forgiveness for thinking too highly of myself. "There's pride and there's false pride and you'd best discern the difference if you wanna be in heaven with the rest of us." 
For people who didn't grow up in families like mine, it might be hard to understand the importance of preserving the family name: a source of communal pride and a leveling mechanism for deficient or excessive narcissism. I learned to keep my selfish behavior in check because of the way my actions would affect my family which is why it was prudent to move to France before coming out as a rebellious sinner. Unfortunately, my obscure american name was relatively common overseas; but sacrebleu! I had taken my husband's name when we married! That meant I could take a french walk on the wild side without upsetting my relatives. I could break every rule in the book, indulge in a multitude of wrongs, immerse myself in a hotbed of devilish evils and yes, I am lying my ass off right now. Those internalized values which comprise who you believe yourself to be as a child, never disappear; and those internalized voices you admired and wanted to be part of? They're never silent, either, glory hallelujah!


Nevertheless, even being an uprighteous young woman with the firm intention to be good, I made mistakes growing up. Maybe in order to be good, we have to make mistakes but that means we mustn't justify a single one--and that is hard to do if no one ever said, unequivocally, that you were special. That you were born into a peculiarly special family because that's where you belonged and no one but spiritual warriors had ever been granted your name so never ever give up never stay down never believe you are better or worse than anyone else. You may be special but special is as special does so don't betray the people who are counting on you to protect their heritage.

Now it might sound like telling a child they were special would inflate their narcissism but being told you're special was a responsibility, not a status symbol. It wasn't a gift without strings. You lived up to your name and that meant a whole host of religious rules and social sanctions intended to build character.

Being concerned for others is the foundation upon which mature morality is constructed and it isn't an easy process for any of us. The slow development of conscience may be the task of community and my relatives seemed to know this without reading a lick of psychological literature. At least I'm fairly certain they never read an article about healthy narcissism unless it had been featured in The Farm Journal or Reader's Digest maybe

Nothing says "I see you" like telling a child: "You're Special"

Every family reunion followed the same pattern: first there were tears of joy at the sight of nieces and nephews and grandchildren and then hugs long-and-breathtaking. Afterwards came the stand-back-and-let-me-take-you-in look, a wizened gaze piercing souls so deep I believed Aunt Blanche could out an impostor in a single stare. Not even a sociopath could pass her scrutiny! What my family told me after every lasting embrace was that I was special and it was my responsibility to live up to my good name. They knew my character and what they knew had come from God's lips to their ears, no need to have it confirmed by anyone else.

One aunt said I was chosen to be in the family because the spirits had told her so and even if I didn't believe in ghost stories, her validation was deep and comforting. Knowing we are valuable, that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves, protects us when-and-if we forget our birthright. Like the time my ex dared challenge the collective agreements of an ancestral battalion of aunts and uncles and grandparents going back to Adam and Eve.

"You are Special," they had told me. "Never forget it!"

And I didn't. And it saved me.




RESOURCES

Craig Malkin "The reality is that we all fall somewhere between utter selflessness and grandiosity. A healthy middle, healthy degree of narcissism, is essential for a strong sense of self. Malkin deconstructs misconceptions of narcissism and offers clear, step-by-step guidance on how to protect ourselves and promote healthy narcissism in our partners, our children, and ourselves." Rethinking Narcissism: the Bad and Surprising Good about Feeling Special. Amazon Link

Craig Malkin's The Narcissism Test: What's Your Score? Huffington Post. 

Nina W. Brown "...is professor and eminent scholar in the Educational Leadership and Counseling Department at Old Dominion University. An expert on narcissism's effects on relationships, she is the author of ten books, including Children of the Self-AbsorbedWorking with the Self-Absorbed and Whose Life is it Anyway?" ~Amazon page

Normal and Yucky Narcissism on The Narcissistic Continuum. "Healthy narcissism allows people to tolerate criticism and failure, and contain negative feelings like guilt which leads to even deeper pro-social emotions like remorse and forgiveness. Healthy narcissism, as described by Heinz Kohut, includes creativity, empathy, a sense of humor, awareness of finiteness, and wisdom."

Healthy Narcissism on The Narcissistic Continuum. "Healthy narcissism plays a crucial role in the human capacity to manage challenges, successes and changes; to overcome defeats, illnesses, trauma, and losses; to love and be productive and creative; and to experience happiness, satisfaction, and acceptance of the course of one’s life." ~Elsa Ronningstam

21 comments:

  1. When a solid rooting is established and felt at a young age, it's forever. We can reconnect to it in difficult times. I feel it as a form of love and sometimes it was never said but however transmitted and deeply ingrained.
    Thanks CZ for reminding us of this blessing.
    nat

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    1. Thank you so much for reading and replying, Nat! We recently had a wedding reception to attend and I was flooded with warm-and-cuddly feelings for extended family. I wanted to add my story to our growing knowledge about the healthy narcissism Dr. Malkin writes about, "The importance of feeling special".

      Some people misunderstand narcissism and believe that telling children they're special will inflate their egos but my experience says otherwise. It's the children who were never told (or felt) special that compensate for a lack of love with inflated grandiosity. That kind of unhealthy narcissism cannot sustain the inevitable slings-and-arrows and rejections we all experience.

      I think it's a bit daring to say in public that we felt Special; that our family believed we were special; that we told our children they were special. Of course, there has to be a factual basis to such expression and if we tell people they are special but ignore or demean them, well--words cannot compensate for hurtful actions.

      My therapist assured me many years ago, that I was very attached to my family, despite our challenges. My "love" for them and they for me, has pulled us through some terrible times when a less-secure attachment would have interrupted reconciliation and forgiveness.

      I appreciate your comment about a solid rooting, that it isn't always spoken aloud but children know on a visceral level that they are cared about and loved. Truly, you are right---this "knowing" never leaves us and yes, it is a blessing to be grateful for!

      Hugs,
      CZ

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  2. You're welcome CZ !

    Adults put flesh on the bones of the child psyche. Especially, in my opinion, when they show elements of wisdom and appreciation of life however humble those elements may be.


    Seneca : " Attalus used to employ the following simile: “Did you ever see a dog snapping with wide- open jaws at bits of bread or meat which his master tosses to him? Whatever he catches, be straightway swallows whole, and always opens his jaws in the hope of something more. So it is with ourselves; we stand expectant, and whatever Fortune has thrown to us we forthwith bolt, without any real pleasure, and then stand alert and frantic for something else to snatch.” But it is not so with the wise man; he is satisfled. "

    Probably reasonable people don't stay with the jaws opened because they've been properly nurished at a young age.

    Hugs
    nat

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    1. Beautiful comment..."Adults put flesh on the bones of the child psyche. Especially, in my opinion, when they show elements of wisdom and appreciation of life however humble those elements may be."

      Your story about the dog captures the narcissist's dissatisfaction with everything and everyone failing to measure up to his/her expectations. People disappoint, they are never "enough" to meet the insatiable demands of the narcissistic personality. Even success disappoints, it's "never enough" to satiate their quest for perfect bliss. Like the dog in your story, narcissists wait with open jaws in the hopes of something more BECAUSE what they have is never good enough.

      Your story leads to another thought: Maybe a different personality from mine, would have dismissed my family as not being good enough to meet their standards. They might have rejected, judged and criticized family members as being too imperfect, not rich enough, not beautiful enough, not the people they deserved. The thought then occurred to me that some family members might have been throwing filet mignon and steak tartare the whole time--but it was gobbled as greedily as TVP (textured vegetable protein = fake meat). Unappreciated and Devalued.

      What all my studies and learning have taught me is that Life is a Mystery, each of us a Miracle! But now that you've told me about the hungry DOG, I must add: Savor our gifts and Appreciate the Hands throwing the meat!

      Hugs,
      CZ

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    2. Exactly
      Hugs
      nat

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  3. I would like to share two quotes from Dr. Simon who posted an article about "The Nurturing Character" this morning. He reinforces my understanding of our life-long developmental process. We aren't COOKED and DONE at any point even if we suffered rough beginnings; even if our life was interrupted by a rat bazturd. We continue growing, continue becoming the person we intend to be, learning from our well-informed and ignorant choices. ha! Enjoy!

    Dr. Simon wrote, "character development...is a process that takes a great deal of conscientious attention and which doesn’t end when we move from childhood to adulthood. Becoming all we’re capable of being is a lifelong task." LINK

    I then clicked on a another of Dr. Simon's articles encouraging the growth of healthy narcissism (LINK):

    "You are not the center of the universe. Rather, you are but a part of something more vast, complex, and wondrous than you can even imagine. You inhabit space with many other persons, creatures, and objects of creation. So, despite your tendency to think so, it’s definitely not all about you. Be mindful of how you, your desires, urges, and most especially your behavior impact everyone and everything else that exists and conduct yourself with both caution and concern for the impact of your very presence on the rest of creation."

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    1. Good advice for people that are not gifted with emotional empathy. You need forceful logical arguments to convince them it's not in their interest to treat people like crap.
      Hugs
      nat

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    2. You are so right. I think the problem so many of us had in the narcissistic relationship was our ignorance. Who knew some people had empathy deficits? Who knew their emotions were stunted, delaying or preventing moral development? Even when attending therapy, I was not warned or taught about empathy as an essential component for healthy relationships.

      Once I learned about empathy, well...I daresay it helped me be a better mother---especially to my nephew who was born with high-functioning Aspergers. This gave me a direction that definitely improved his development because I knew what I was dealing with when he didn't react the way I expected.

      Now...if only someone had told me about NPD thirty years ago........

      Hugs
      CZ

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    3. We needed the experience...
      If I understood correctly Asperger is not the type if people I'm talking about)

      Furthermore only a psychotherapist can help the empathy-deficient person, for as far as we speak of the narc-type, the close relations either end up anxious and depleted and/or with mistrust and schadenfreude.
      The problem is their indifference is stronger than our love.
      nat

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    4. I mean we needed the knowledge, not the experience.
      Sorry, my words probably appears sometimes without nuance : english is not my first language.
      hugs
      nat

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    5. Hi Nat! I understood your intention but used my nephew as an example of 'educating parents' so they can meet the child's needs. I am a huge proponent of involving the family in mental health care. And you are right, Aspergers is definitely not NPD! Thanks for asking me to clarify.

      When a 'deficit' of any kind (or a delay) is noticed by a parent, we should educate ourselves all we can while also asking for professional help. Since you are fairly new to my blog, you may not know that my sister and I (we raised him together) got professional help for my nephew as early as age eight. I am definitely not saying parents can handle "empathy-deficits" by themselves but they can augment the work a therapist is able to do with a child. He's twenty-five now and we are grateful to the psychological community for all the help given to help him become the great kid he is today.

      (No worries about your writing! You express yourself perfectly well!)

      Hugs
      CZ

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    6. "far as we speak of the narc-type, the close relations either end up anxious and depleted and/or with mistrust and schadenfreude.

      The problem is their indifference is stronger than our love." ~Nat

      Well Said, Nat. <3

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  4. I found your blog by coincidence through something you wrote about "the secret" years ago. You spoke about magical thinking and the dangers of it all.

    Now I really liked this article on believing you're special through positive reinforcement from family members. How is it different from using auto-suggestion (positive affirmations) to establish similar beliefs in your self?

    You're a smart lady and I have no idea about you except for the two blog entries i've read. And so far i'm entertained and inspired. I'm a guy seeking your opinion on the question above.

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    1. Hi Unknown! Your question is excellent, thank you! I will do my best to reply and remember, I am not a psychologist and it's times like this when that's a good thing 'cuz I write from my "Inner Knower", not from an academic resume.

      I wrote about The Secret years ago while engaged in online communities. What I was frustrated with was the 'magical thinking', as you've written. Women were saying they were gonna think that man right back in their beds. (And to the contrary: blamed themselves for thinking him into another woman's bed.) So yea, I was alarmed and this inspired "My Big Fat Opinion on The Secret."

      I don't have a problem with self-affirmation as long as we aren't lying to ourselves by saying stupid stuff like "I am the Greatest Mother in the World" or "I am rich beyond imagination"---the kind of dumb tropes being offered by dumb-as-a-rock gurus. You can be strategically brilliant and emotionally dumb-as-a-rock which is why we've ended up with marketing schemes promoting materialism and calling it spiritual actualization. (You know the devil is in the works when the truth is backwards). <---JOKE

      If you have an intuitive sense of right vs. wrong, you'll know you are LYING to yourself and you'll smash your mirror or whatever you're staring into because no road to mental health is paved with self-deceit. Lying to ourselves with seductive stories we'd like to believe, inflates the ego and silences spirit---kinda like Vaseline for a serious burn. It feels better for awhile but you're still burning underneath.

      I told myself every day, "CZ, YOU are a WoNderful Woman of Worth" and that carried significant meaning because it didn't separate me from other people. We all have worth. Now if I had said, "CZ, you are the most worthy woman on earth", that would have been a seductive lie and that would have inflated unhealthy narcissism which is always dissatisfying. Affirmations (such as people were promoting on The Secret) offered relief via magical thinking; but because they were focused on materialism, the relief wasn't satisfying. Materialism may be pleasurable but it is not meaningful, it cannot make us happy.

      What I saw back then was a pursuit of money/material gains over spiritual goals such as honesty, integrity, compassion, kindness, etc. "I am a rich woman" is very different from "I am a worthy woman".

      A new car gives us pleasure but not happiness. All the money in the world would be pleasurable but would we be happy? I guess that depends on whether we shared that money with other people and expanded their happiness, OR kept it for ourselves, disconnecting us from others. My point being that connections to others, our sense of purpose and meaning in life and our self-mastery of internalized values (such as being Generous, not selfish) lead to a healthy happy life even IF it's not perfect, even IF our circumstances are difficult. So it depends on the type of positive affirmations we're using. (end part one)

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    2. (part two) In my essay "telling children they are special", there are multiple references to my "sense of belonging" (attachment) and our family's religious "values" which focused on service to others, giving care to others, being honest and trustworthy, etc. Because my family saw each of us as special/valued, they also recognized our individuality---such as calling me the queen of hearts. That meant they "saw" my compassion, my willingness to forgive, my caring nature.

      Being "special" did not mean better-than and I can remember thinking, even as a child, "I am special just like Marie's mother says she's special" and maybe this understanding set the course for my life.

      People need to feel good about themselves, we need to "belong" not only to other people but to a purpose higher than ourselves. I just felt during The Secret Days (and even now), that giving SERVICE to others would augment a flagging self-esteem much more quickly than standing in front of a mirror and telling ourselves we were compassionate. There's a certain transcendence of self when we are helping others, when we are doing something that matters, that makes a difference in people's lives. Losing ourselves in this kind of work may require a morning affirmation to keep us going when we don't wanna get out of bed, though.

      One more thing: I read about our current President's upbringing and it made me think about my own. He was told by his family, "You are a king!" and yea, that sounds kinda special but notice that it's based on status and superiority which disconnects, which alienates the child and hinders the development of empathy. Kings are served, not servers.

      There's an essay inside myself about the distinctions between 45's Norman Vincent Peale religious upbringing (have faith in yourself) and my biblical upbringing (have faith in God). Perhaps the outcome of the self-affirmations we learned as children became the foundation of who we are today? Well, there are a few other differences of course but it's a thought worth thinking about this afternoon. (I hope I didn't get myself in hot water but I will be writing about 45 within the week).

      Hugs,
      CZ

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    3. Your story of the family you grew up in is pretty admirable. It's not just about affirmations then. Affirmations need to be clear of self-deception, grandiosity and backed up by action (as you say helping others). Establishing new neural pathways takes a lot of work, but repetition, repetition. I guess "the secret" gave the impression of change being easy.

      realizing something I already subconsciously knew: affirmations aren't a magic bullet but they can sometimes give us a little kick that we can benefit from.

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    4. OMGosh...did you read all of that, anonymous!?! If you did, I'd like to hand you a batch of cyber-cinnamon rolls as compensation for what must be the longest-ever comment in history ever. Some days, I just can't seem to get to the point fast enough to call myself a "blogger" so thank you for showing up again.

      I witnessed the fall-out of The Secret first-hand because of my involvement with people recovering from the crazy-making narcissistic relationship. And I also knew someone personally whose mental illness was exacerbated by the Magical Thinking and wondered if perhaps the book should have come with a warning label: Do Not Read if you are in a mania, in a depression, facing a serious illness, coping with a physical disability, divorce, having an affair, sharing your kids with a rat bazturd, etc. bla and blah.

      Repetition, repetition, so true! Perhaps we can even consider this our "practice": doing the same thing over and over again because we know it will lead to different results. ;-P

      Affirmations give us a little kick in the butt, yes...I use positive affirmations because they counteract my inner critic's persistent animosity. Like beating myself up for taking two trips around the block to get to my point. ;-(

      Hugs!
      CZ

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    5. "Your story of the family you grew up in is pretty admirable." ~Anon

      My story exemplifies the importance of "extended family", an entire lineage of relatives to which children can bond and seek role models. During the roughest parts of my life, a memory of a specific aunt rescued me because of her life-example. It's a shame that my ex and I didn't continue the tradition, separating our family from relatives by living in multiple states and overseas. Boomers discounted the value of family ties, I think...and now we are learning how fundamental these ties are for healthy development. As long as people are learning, we will do better.

      And one more thing: I have written a lot about "the narcissistic family" which is also part of my story. In future essays, I hope to explain how healthy narcissism might go awry and what we can do about that when it does. ~CZ

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  5. When you grow up, I think you're not able to positively self-reinforce. You absolutely need your significant others to value you. If it doesn't occur then, not sure you will sincerely believe any future self positive discourse.
    nat

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    1. Fair statement, Nat.

      We must consider how many people with a NPD partnered with "good enough" spouses and kids and extended relationships but were unable to "attach" (the way most of us think about attachment as a healthy bond, not an obsession). There isn't enough 'positive reinforcement' in the world, nor sufficient "you are specials" to compensate for an inner void. This is a sad thing for everyone to accept--not just the people who are perhaps inevitably rejected by someone with a NPD, but the person with a NPD, too. They are continually seeking, always looking for the perfect love to complete them.

      The positive self-reinforcement I've written about is based on "normal" development, "normal" narcissism.

      The pathological personality is a whole different thing and people are misled if they assume narcissism is always pathological. We need a much more complex understanding of narcissism than Either/Or; ie: You got it or you don't.

      Another great comment to ponder and one which I've considered deeply because as I've written before, I loved a man who was haunted by an inner emptiness so profound, it was impossible for me to understand until studying NPD. He actually taught Self-Improvement seminars and was always reading (self-improvement) Spiritual teachings.

      Hugs all,
      CZ

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  6. One of the two cluster B I've been close to was interested in the subject of self-esteem and had a big interest in management. His style of management was rather a simplistic and swallow manipulating one.
    Hugs
    nat

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