Discuss, print, enjoy, and share the love.
Hi there! How has your week been going? Thanks for swinging by my website today.
For your benefit I have gathered a few videos on Narcissism. Why? Well, I believe that to be a strong Relationship Legacy Leader you need to have a firm awareness of what narcissism is and how to root out narcissistic tendencies in any environment you are in (family, work, religious institutions, politics, etc.) (1). It's also incredibly important to continue to be aware of our own narcissistic tendencies and to continually work on addressing those tendencies (we all have ways we can improve). Ignore narcissism at your own peril—because whether or not you are aware of it you have been or will be affected by it in some way.
I believe that one of the best ways to stand up to narcissism is to make sure that we have leaders in place with high levels of integrity and empathy. These leaders set a strong example through their actions, and actively make it their mission to reduce or remove narcissism in whatever system (or systems) they are in. For example, when a leader is doing job interviews, she actively ask questions to assess someone's level of narcissism, empathy, self-awareness, and accountability.
I want you to know that when I refer to "leaders" I am not referring to some abstract concept that has no application to you. You are probably a leader in some way. Are you a parent? You are a leader. Are you a manager? You are a leader. Are you in charge of a church group or some sort of class? You are a leader. Are you an older sibling or one of the older members of a family? You are a leader.
Additionally, when we follow someone's direction (or put our trust in any leader), we always need to ask ourselves if the person who is leading has everyone's best interests in mind... Or does she desire power solely for the sake of having power and control over people (and the perks of having power).
This next part may sound a bit strong, but here goes. I like to imagine narcissism in systems (like families and workplaces) as having an effect like a slow leak has on floor boards and wood. A slow leak steadily (and insidiously) begins to cause mold and damage. It may not even be apparent at first or even for a long time; especially if the leak is tucked away somewhere where you cannot see it initially.
I don't know if you've had any experiences with slow and hidden leaks, because I have! And boy it's not an experience I want to repeat again! At a previous house I lived in with my husband and daughter here in Springfield, there was a very slow leak below our furnace which resided in a closet.
Well, we had no idea about the leak for a couple reasons. One, we didn't go deep into the closet very often where the leak was happening. Two, by the time we noticed how bad things were, it was too late—we had a serious problem on our hands. This was definitely not a pleasant experience in any way. We eventually got everything cleaned up and fixed, but at immense time and cost to us. To add insult to injury, slow leaks are not covered by insurance (at least not by ours anyway), so we had to pay for all of the damages out of pocket.
Narcissism in any form is a slow and steady leak. It insidiously causes an immense amount damage to the system (any system). Initially it may not be apparent, but eventually there will be glaring signs and symptoms. For example, if a company is mainly led by those who espouse the end justifying the means, then regular company practices will be put in place that harm the public, the employees, or even the environment. Other signs that maybe something is not quite right is that there is a high employee turnover rate. You might notice that good people keep leaving the workplace, the political environment, the religious institution, or the family.
Sadly, once an individual has high narcissistic personality tendencies or even meets the criteria for narcissistic personality disorder, there is not much that can be done to help that person individually. This is because they feel okay hurting others, and they actually feel pretty justified in doing so. It goes into the bucket of things that cannot be controlled in life and what we need to accept.
Fortunately, there is a lot we can control and a lot we can do. Stepping into and accepting the role of a Relationship Legacy Leader and making little changes wherever you are, can make a huge difference in the culture of your family, of your workplace, your country, and even in politics. Also, setting a strong and healthy example for kids is so important to prevent narcissistic tendencies from developing in the first place. Preventing narcissism and the damage it causes is a huge reason to support any group or activity that promotes the physical and mental health of young people.
To review, a Relationship Legacy Leader is:
Someone who is committed to healthy relationships and emotional health for themselves, and also for the people around them. These progressive leaders deeply value thriving and resilient relationships, but are also keenly aware of the relational and emotional impact they have on other people: their partner or spouse, friends, relatives, co-workers, people in their community, kids, etc. These leaders know that in order to collaborate effectively, achieve the greatest growth, and to experience meaning and satisfaction out of life it takes growing our relationship and emotional skills. They intentionally seek out where they can make a difference, and make a conscious choice to do something positive. Whether the impact is on a few people or many, they know it all matters.
Without further ado, here are a few videos for you to peruse you awesome amazing Relationship Legacy Leader you.
Narcissism video resources
1. A TEDx talk by Dr. Ramani Durvasula (2):
2. Ten red flags indicating narcissism on the Surviving Narcissism YouTube channel (3):
3. Dr. Craig Malkin from Harvard medical school (4):
Questions to ask yourself after viewing these videos (either privately or start a discussion with someone else):
1. What did you learn from these videos?
2. Since we all have narcissism to some extent, what are the ways you personally express it?
3. Have there been environments where you could say the system was dominated by narcissistic values? If so, how could you tell?
4. Have there been environments where you could tell it was very healthy, and narcissism, bullying, and abuse was not tolerated? How did you know it was healthy? What specifically made that environment a thriving one?
5. What is one specific thing you can do this next week to actively make a difference as a Relationship Legacy Leader that reduces the narcissism in a system you are in?
Related to today's topic, if you have been hurt by someone with narcissism or hurt by a narcissistic system, you may want to review the blog article I wrote about uncovering your core values after being hurt in a narcissistic situation (5). This blog delves into what you can control in these situations, and how to figure out specific strategies for making the system healthier wherever you are using your values to guide you.
I am going to sum up today's blog by saying this... What you do matters. What you say matters. Having an open dialogue about how you can communicate better and treat each other better at work and at home matters. Taking a single step matters. What step will you take this week?
Thanks for being here with me today. If this post was helpful, please hit the Facebook Like button below or share the blog on Twitter or Facebook. Talk to you next week!
All the best,
Holly L. Harrison
PS Can I send you an email about once a week? The email will have a link to my latest blog post in case there is a topic you are interested in. As the business grows and I add more products and services, I will mention in the email what has been added.
References and Links
Discuss, print, enjoy, and share the love.
In today’s blog I will discuss a process for uncovering some of your core values from a painful experience you had in the past. These core values will serve as a springboard for positive and action-oriented personal growth in your own life and also as an inspiration for how you can better support the lives of people around you as a Relationship Legacy Leader. I will also discuss narcissism because this topic seems to be on a lot of people's minds lately, and many people are trying to cope and grow from painful experiences in interacting with people with narcissistic traits. Narcissism, I believe, is an area where it would be beneficial to uncover what our deeper values and beliefs are.
Something I have noticed a lot in the news lately are articles on narcissism and the painful experiences that radiate out from that problem. Intuitively, I sense that many people are trying to grapple with, cope, learn, and grow from all the challenges that narcissism brings. Furthermore, coming from this focus on narcissism, humans are trying to learn about what their values are and what is healthy in the context of mental health and relationships. I believe it’s important for us to be able to identify toxic work and family situations so we can set some healthy boundaries, or move on if we need to, but then what do we do after that? Today's blog can help you if you have struggled with someone who may have a lot of narcissistic traits. This blog can also help for any other painful situation where you would like to better understand your values and grow.
If it's narcissism-related or any other painful situation in our life, how can we learn from our experiences? How can we use those difficult times to grow beyond that painful event, and also to help those around us? What can we do as far as prevention? How can we stop the generational passing down of toxic or harmful relationship habits (either in a family, workplace environment, government, or religious institution)? I think that these are good questions to be asking ourselves because sometimes problems can seem so big and overwhelming that we have a hard time seeing where to start to make things better. And when problems seem so big and overwhelming, we often end up not doing anything about it. We think, "I'm just one person, what can I do about it?"
An important challenge for us personally is to find a way to rise above painful situations versus drowning in resentment, judgment, hopelessness, and frustration. This is especially the case if we have a relationship with someone who meets criteria for narcissistic personality disorder (or even antisocial personality disorder). Sadly, there is not much we can do to change that specific relationship; the nature of these disorders is that lacking empathy and disregarding the pain of others becomes a consistent lifelong personality trait that typically does not shift much throughout adulthood. However, I want you to know that if you have experienced a painful event (or had experience with someone with narcissistic personality disorder), there is hope and you can learn and rise above it. In the case with narcissism, we need to shift our focus to working on prevention and discovering/living out our values.
Here are my ideas and opinions for preventing narcissism. First, I think we should value teaching boys and girls (throughout their childhood) about their feelings and how to cope with them in a healthy way. So much of our personalities and coping styles are learned and developed from a very young age. Furthermore, we need to value teaching boys about their emotions and not shame them for having feelings. Second, we need to focus on, in my opinion, working on our own mental health, and discovering ways to better support the people in our own lives (kids, family, friends, coworkers, supervisees, etc.). Essentially, we need to value destigmatizing stress, fear, anger, or any difficult emotion. These painful emotions are a part of all of our lives and our mental health. We all have these issues and we all have to find ways to cope with them throughout our lives. We are not bad for having stress and taking care of it! We need to lose the shame, and we all need to work on our mental health regularly just like our physical health. We have gym class for supporting kids' physical health throughout their development, but there is not an equivalent class for kids' mental health. Third, we especially need to value making sure all of the children in our entire world have their physical, emotional, intellectual, and relationship needs met for a variety of important reasons, but also to stop the cycle of wounded and hurt people hurting other people.
I think that our recent interest in narcissism actually mean something bigger… I think as humans we are psychologically evolving. If we peer underneath all of our recent concerns about narcissism, I think we will uncover (and discover) some of our core values we aspire to have as humans, as a society, and as a world.
So, what are some of your core values? Let’s examine a painful experience you had because that is a big indicator of something important to you. Let’s get underneath the pain, resentment, or maybe even frustration to make a real impact in your own life and in the lives of those around you.
How to Examine a Painful Experience as a Way to Uncover Core Values (6 Steps)
You may find it beneficial to talk with someone you trust about this or you might find it helpful to write your ideas down in a journal.
Step 1: Think of one painful memory (or related incidents) that happened with your family, at work, at church, in politics, etc. What happened?
Step 2: List all of the most painful emotions associated with it. Sadness? Frustration? Anger? Despair? Shock? Loneliness? Hopelessness?
Step 3: Get underneath those feelings you listed in Step 2.
Questions to Ask Yourself (Not All May Apply):
Step 4: Using your answers above as inspiration and guidance, what are your values? Get underneath your frustration and what you see as wrong to figure out what is kind, fair, and embodies integrity. If you need some help, try filling in these statements.
Step 5: Apply the values to yourself. Now that you know some of your values, what does this mean for you personally? Where could you grow in living out your values? Do you have some "blind spots" or areas where you have been telling others to do what maybe you could also benefit from working on? What would living out your values look like? Where is the easiest place to start?
Step 6: Apply your values to positively impact the people in your life. List out ideas for concretely living out your values in your relationships with others. What would that look like? Where can you make the biggest impact? Who do you want to make the biggest impact on?
This activity can be repeated to gain insight on a variety of different scenarios and situations.
I think that this activity is important for many reasons, but there are two especially important ones. One, it can help you to move on and grow from a very painful situation by identifying what good can come from it. Two, it can help you in stopping the process of transmitting your own pain, frustration, resentment, and disappointment onto the next generation and the people around you. The interesting thing about painful events is that we can unconsciously (or without meaning to or wanting to) hand off our own pain and frustration to others unless we actively learn from the situation and find a way to grow beyond it. We have to understand clearly what our values are, what a better scenario looks like, and then actively work towards it. This is because knowing a problem is one thing, but understanding the solution to the problem is a whole separate area of knowledge and wisdom. For example, with the couples I work with I often help them separate their understanding of what the problem is and the solutions to overcome it—they are two very different things. Additionally, couples sometimes discover that even though their problems seem big and emotionally very heavy, the solution can often come from some simple changes.
From this exercise today I hope it sparked some ideas for personal and relationship growth. I encourage each of you reading to also think about what your gifts are and how you can use your gifts to live out the values you uncovered. We are all different, and we each have unique gifts. How can you share what makes you unique in a way that helps others? Whatever you do, don’t downplay your gifts! Things we are passionate about, deeply care about, or find easy to do are not necessarily the same for others. In fact, what's easy and fun for you is often hard for others! There are millions of different gifts out there. What is your gift, and how can you live out your values through your gifts?
Thanks For Being With Me Today
Thanks for joining me today fellow Relationship Legacy Leaders. I hope today’s blog was inspiring for you and sparked some ideas that will create massive positive changes in your own life and in the lives of those around you. The insights and ideas you discovered today can change the world. Have a wonderful rest of the day!
All the best,
Your use of the website, blog, newsletter, and social media accounts does not establish a professional therapeutic relationship between yourself and Holly L. Harrison. By using the website and related accounts, you agree to these terms.
The information on this website and the blog is for informational and entertainment purposes only. I am not guaranteeing any results.
Please note that the information on this website is not intended to replace or be a substitute for any professional financial, medical, mental health, legal, or other advice.
If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require professional or medical advice, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified specialist. If you follow or use the information on the blog, website, newsletter, and social media accounts, you agree that it is at your own risk and you will not hold Holly L. Harrison or MoxiePsychology, LLC liable or responsible for the outcome.
MoxiePsychology Legacy is an outpatient mental health clinic and not equipped for emergency services. If you are in need of emergency mental or medical services, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.
Holly L. Harrison, MA, LMFT