Today we are surrounded by narcissists–in the media, entertainment, among our neighbors, acquaintances, in medicine, in psychiatry and psychology, in “spirituality”, the culture of many corporations. In the years since Christopher Lasch wrote his brilliant prescient work The Culture of Narcissism (1978) we are experiencing his predictions. We have arrived—-in the Narcissistic Culture. Long ago Lasch knew what would happen to many “relationships” –“Personal relations founded on reflected glory, on the need to admire and be admired, prove fleeting and insubstantial.” The narcissist demands that you are a mirror of his or her perfection. Many people follow the narcissist’s lead because he is holding the power, the force of personality, the delusion that you can become as overly confident, self entitled, as deceptive and exploitive as this person. We discover today that so much of career climbing to the top is based on being ruthless and amoral. This is becoming more the rule than the exception. “Work hard and play by the rules”—Really??? That doesn’t fit with the narcissistic style. In so many corporate venues it is those who are very attractive physically if not drop dead gorgeous–male and female, combined with blind ambition and a willingness to let others falter and fall by the wayside, who reach the highest positions within a corporate structure. These individuals operate without conscience. If someone doesn’t fit into their singular plan of victory, the narcissist will do everything possible to kick this person out of the way, even if this causes horrible distress and financial instability to them—They say to themselves: “You are weak and worthless; get out of my way. I have no obstacles, boundaries or limits. Get between me and my goal and I will annihilate you.” There are still extraordinary corporations and the people in all levels who work for them who have outstanding characters and who still work very hard and maintain the highest level of conscience and concern for the welfare of others.
On a personal level narcissists within the family–spouses, ex-spouses, mothers, fathers, siblings–are making the lives of family members miserable, unbearable and bleak. I hear many life stories of those who were trapped in a narcissistic family and who had to survive by going along with the perfect mirroring , criticisms, intimidations and complete injustice of their situations. They have suffered greatly. I don’t think that most people understand, unless they have experienced the malicious face of a mother or father narcissist, know what this does to a child every single day. Know that these cruelties exist and that they are malevolent and in some cases, evil. That is not too strong of a word to describe the psychological damage sustained by many children raised by a narcissistic parent or a narcissistically abused spouse or sibling. These victims are telling the exact truth. Believe them.
Human nature is both sublime and very dark. Narcissists dwell within the prisons of their own psychopathology and that is a tragedy. But the damage that they do to others is incalculable. Study the narcissistic personality in-depth. Understand who this person is. Forget the external image–it is fleeting and meaningless. This is the world’s superficial appraisal. It is part of the delusion that has become even more prevalent than at any other time in recent western history. Facade has now become reality–That’s what we are being told constantly.
Pay attention to what is deep inside of you–your intuitions and insights that come quickly with the truth. When you call upon these gifts, you cannot be compromised or vanquished. You are riding with the truth throughout your life, gaining strength, psychological stamina, spiritual steadiness and laser focus. Visit my website: thenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life