February 07, 2010

My big, fat opinion: "The Secret"


A 21st Century rendition of Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man

Maeve wrote: “I'd love to hear what you think about the recent self-help magical thinking trend, aka The Secret. (the universe gives you what you think about: if you think about happiness and love your life will be a banquet of joy and serendipity; if you think about obesity, cancer and death you'll get fat, your moles will turn to melanoma and you'll die). It strikes me as quasi-narcissistic (how can the universe possibly care enough about what I'm thinking to mete me out my own personal thoughts in the form of concrete things?) having read your post but I'd love to read your take.” ~Self-Help Narcissists

Well, Maeve, I’m a little uncomfortable writing about new age spirituality. Guess I have chicken wings, not angel wings. Please don’t barbecue me. 

I’m hesitant to discredit The Secret because I don’t want people to think me into a cornfield, or wish me back to a prior incarnation when I was a flea. People might send negative energy my direction, forcing terrible things to happen to my family and ya know, we’ve had enough misery in this lifetime. 

Besides, it’s not nice to criticize people’s delusions. I learned that with narcissists. You tell ‘em they aren’t Grounded In Reality and the next thing you know: you’re the one sitting in a therapist’s office getting your feet nailed to the floor. 

Narcissists are indignant when their thinkin’ is labeled stinkin’. Especially when people of lower intelligence challenge their grandiosity. But you asked, so I’ll compose my thoughts, hopefully without alienating those who find value in The Secret and other new-age ideas of such ilk. Some people read The Secret and find the ideas worth considering. They aren’t usually the ones who flame and insult and wish me into cornfields, though. 

My big, fat opinion is that Secret promoters are an exclusive club of opportunists pretending to be smarter than the rest of us inferior types who live in track homes because we didn't think 'Mansion'. Maybe they honestly believe what they're promoting, but to me, this is self-deception because in reality, it’s utterly stoopid to believe thoughts create things--as if our brains are assembly lines, making us mini-gods of our own creation! 

This idea appeals to narcissists since they see themselves as the center of the universe. Which makes me wonder if The Secret Elite is an exclusive group of Machiavellians, psychopaths, and grandiose narcissists; not exclusive of countless numbers of innocent people in terrible situations----innocent people who are desperate for answers, for relief, for certainty. 

Those are the people who concern me. The people upon whom predators prey. We cannot stop every bad person from taking advantage of good people, that is true; but we can inform those who are vulnerable to manipulation. 

Who is vulnerable to stinkin’ thinkin’? 

Anyone. Everyone. It all depends on the situation. So don’t go thinking only dumb bunnies fall for flimflam artists and con games. Our vulnerability to persuasion depends on our situation: the less stable we are, the easier we are to manipulate/recruit. That means anyone suffering a crisis, loss of boundaries, loss of self, divorce, job insecurity, death, etc. can be drawn towards stinkin' thinkin' like The Secret

Whether other people agree with me or not, I believe Secret gurus are more worried about financial actualization than they are spiritual growth—nor are they concerned about the harm they do to vulnerable people. In fact, the lack of empathy for their ‘market audience’, the certainty of their self-anointed mission, the manipulation of people’s gullibility and devotion, describes narcissists fairly well. Narcissists as in The Messianic Disordered. 

For people who might not be psychologically stable because of their situation, believing every thought will come to fruition is a recipe for paranoia. I remember putting a tarp over my canopy bed just to be on the safe side. I didn't want to wake up with thousands of rat bazturds falling on my head. Rat bazturd was an obsessive loop in the early days of my husband’s infidelity. I couldn’t stop myself from thinking this thought. It was as automatic as breathing. 

I remember when Rhonda Byrne’s book first appeared. As an Internet consumer, I was privy to the persuasive hoo-hah promoting her book before it was released in a viral marketing campaign that is sure to be a case study in MBA textbooks. Many people on NPD message boards were persuaded to purchase her book because it promised to restore personal power. They also believed (as traumatized people do), that they had been cut off from the Secret of life…that they were isolated and alone. When someone promised to share an ancient secret from which they had been excluded, they were eager to put hard-earned cash on the counter and join the elite. Desperation is the fodder for manipulation. Never forget it. Self-promoters are banking on it. 

I was concerned because it wasn’t a far leap of my imagination to see myself in their shoes: vulnerable, broken, powerless, overwhelmed with emotions and loss, confused about my identity, hoping for answers, or temporary relief. Even the Law of Attraction restored a semblance of order, albeit masochistic. At least there was an explanation for my situation---although it required blaming myself and thinking magically. 

Quite honestly, magical thinking was a part of my grief journey. That same magical thinking inspired me to buy Relationship Matters by Dr. Phil, but that’s getting off-topic. 

Thankfully, Dr. Phil didn’t encourage thinking a loving husband into being and denying the fact that my husband was stomping on my heart. Dr. Phil veered into the self-blaming aspect of taking responsibility that wasn’t mine to take, just like The Secret does. The idea being that if you aren't getting the love you want, or your house catches on fire, or you break out in zits before a leadership conference, well, “Ya did it to yourself. You got nobody to blame but your own thoughts.” 

You can make yourself mentally ill wondering if you had a random thought about zits and that’s why you have a volcano protruding from your chin. Your task is to wish that zit away. If it’s still there during your presentation and the audience can’t take their eyes off your repugnancy, (or protect their faces with Kleenex in case it ‘blows’), you have nobody to blame but your thoughts. And: Thoughts=Self. 

Blaming the Victim 

Blaming the victim is a disturbing thing, a misfortunate result of the assumption that people reap the rewards (consequences) of their choices. If you were abused, well, you must have done something to cause him/her to abuse you. Maybe in the crevices of your mind, you had the dastardly thought, “I sure hope my beloved hurts me!” 

What people need in a healing process is to accurately place responsibility for the crimes committed, not prolong an illegitimate self-blame process. I can see how narcissists would find this philosophy very useful, though: “You thought it, so I’m gonna manifest your destiny!” 

A Just World Hypothesis 

We are addicted to the hypothesis of a Just World. We rationalize incomprehensible ‘injustice’ to protect ourselves from a similar fate by assuming the victim did something (or thought something) that lead to injustice. Perhaps most people never question the assumption that people get what they deserve. 

The assumption that just consequences rule our lives is engrained in our minds. It’s how we socialize our children to be good people. You do good, you get good. You do bad, you get bad. 

Now, let’s say we’re victimized. It’s difficult accepting that people are conned, duped, manipulated, taken advantage of, and betrayed. Instead of tolerating the truth that life is unfair and anyone can be victimized at any time, we blame the victim. If we can attribute bad consequences to bad thoughts, then all we have to do is think positively and we’re safe. 

There’s an added plus to The Secret, too: people aren’t obligated to empathize with anyone threatening their ‘false’ reality. That would be anyone reminding them that life is unfair; that justice is a never-ending battle; that people don’t get what they deserved. 

Anyone who is suffering, hurt, wounded, or depressed, threatens positivity with negativity. Those folks are royally dismissed instead of the egotist dismissing their egotism. That way, they remain warm and cozy and self-righteous in their non-judgmental judgments. 

If you wanna make a buck, appeal to people’s narcissism. 

Telling people, “You aren’t smart, and you are limited, and there’s nothing special about you!” won’t finance an empire or buy a mansion in Beverly Hills. So the way to manipulate people’s insecurity is to tell them they’re SMART. Elite. Beautiful. That their brains have unlimited powers, yet to be realized. Tell people they are Unique and Special and they’ll fork over every cent they have---especially when we’re reminded of our insignificance everyday. 

If we have forsaken intimate relationships for a materialistic lifestyle, our insignificance will not be remedied by accumulating more possessions. Relationships give meaning and purpose to life, satisfying our need to be special…to someone. Accumulating friends is a far better way to counter narcissism than accumulating riches, or followers. 

In our Self-oriented society today however, relationships have become disposable. No wonder we are on a never-ending quest to satisfy emotional needs with material accumulation! We don’t even know how to search for happiness. 

How Do We Spell Success in the 21st century? $$, $$, And more $$$$$ 

We want to believe that good is rewarded and evil is punished. In a less materialistic world, financial statements don’t measure success nor are they rewards for ‘right’ behavior. We seem to be confused about what brings satisfaction in our mediated culture. Relationships have become less about personal commitment and more about making us feel good about ourselves. The more expendable relationships become, (people are mere stepping stones to the narcissist’s self-actualization), the less meaning human virtues have, as rewards. 

“Virtues? What’s a virtue? Give me a Mercedes!” 

This is the opposite of self-actualization. Let’s call it what it is and stop pretending it’s spiritual development. This is a crash course for egotism. 

The Secret de-politicizes social inequities: disenfranchising the many while favoring the few. 

In an attempt to restore power and control in our lives (and therefore, stability and predictability), we turn to The Self as the answer for problems that are socially generated. You cannot cure social ills by isolating in your head. You cannot eradicate social injustice by wishing it away. Or turning your eyes from the suffering and poor because they make you feel guilty or bad about your self! 

What concerns me about thought systems like The Secret, is that they erode social cohesion. Anyone who is troubled or suffering is dismissed as ‘negative’. Instead of looking externally, we are focused on our own thoughts, implicitly blaming people for social ills and protecting ourselves behind a wall of unhealthy psychological defenses. 

You wanna make yourself really sick in the head? Only be friends with people who make you feel good. 

“The task we must set for ourselves is not to feel secure,” 
Erich Fromm writes, “but to be able to tolerate insecurity.” 

The Situation of Insecurity 

During times of social change, financial stress, global wars, global warming, global inequities, erosion of traditional institutions providing continuity in our lives, volcanoes, hurricanes, earthquakes……human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria; well, people seek answers. We attempt to restore a sense of power and control in our lives because we feel insecure and powerless as individuals. The bigger the world gets, the smaller we become. And that feels lousy. Terrifying, even. 

During vulnerable situations, we are susceptible to manipulation by those who appear to have answers to our uncertainty. Especially self-anointed gurus who benefit financially by claiming their successes are the result of ‘positive thoughts’. You can’t challenge their assertions unless you were a little genie sitting inside their heads, recording their thoughts before and after achieving success. They persuade us to trust that their mental prowess as the magnet attracting money and fame, though if we forced a lobotomy on some of those folks, we’d likely find a skull filled with metal; but that’s only a hypothesis. 

One thing that can be said about narcissists, though: they diminish other people’s contributions and attribute success to themselves. What we don’t hear from these highly successful people is gracious credit to the little people supporting their rise in the pecking order. The opportunities they had (and other people didn't) remain unacknowledged privileges. On a NPI scale, I’d say these folks were off the scale for self-sufficiency. 

This is the narcissist’s self-centeredness in action. 

PLUS: Attributing success to our thoughts is much more palatable to a struggling citizenry that wants to believe they live in a meritocracy. That even though they don’t have a pot to piss in, if they keep thinking positive thoughts, the dollars will come and they too can run a multi-million dollar industry and drive fancy cars. However, people who make it to the top of the pecking order were probably willing to do things other people wouldn’t. 

Now maybe you’ve been told that successful people do what other people won’t. In my definition, that means they are willing to use other people as means to their own ends. Narcissistic gurus are ego-syntonic with exploitation, objectification, and manipulation strategies: using people to serve themselves. When a guru attributes financial success to their ‘thoughts’, they are arrogantly discounting other people’s contributions. They are also blaming people for their own tragedies. Ask yourself, “Would I be willing to tell a dying cancer patient that her thoughts had caused her disease?” If not, don’t set your sights on being a new-wage guru. 

Eight uncomfortable truths about The Healing Situation 

“The vulnerability to influence varies,” writes Margaret Singer, “the ability to fend off persuaders is reduced when one is rushed, stressed, uncertain, lonely, indifferent, uninformed, distracted, or fatigued… Also affecting vulnerability are the status and power of the persuader…promises of unconditional love, new mental powers, and social utopia.” (Page 27, Captive Hearts, Captive Minds

The reason I’ve been concerned about the impact of The Secret on people in crisis is because we are sitting ducks for persuasive manipulators. (Please see Resource section about the following list) 

1-Overwhelming emotions diminish critical thinking. This means our gullibility and manipulability increases. We have a hard time making decisions and thinking clearly. 

2-Emotional trauma isolates. Makes us feel cut off; we look for a place where we belong. The Secret pretends to be a group of intelligent people. Now there’s an elite group to pledge allegiance to! Self-deception however, is not self-actualization. Assuming we are self-sufficient leads to further isolation and mental health problems. 

3-Our tolerance for ambiguity decreases. We want answers and good or right answers are preferred. We no longer trust our ability to figure life out ourselves. 

4-We are disillusioned and dissatisfied with the status quo. We may be naively idealistic. 

5-Our assumptions and beliefs have been called into question, or ‘shattered’. We look for another philosophy to fill the void. The more promises a particular philosophy makes, the more eager we are to suspend disbelief and 'follow'. 

6-We pray for restoration of spiritual meaning in our lives. Sometimes, we find comfort in books or speeches using meaningful words like ‘love’ and ‘self-actualization’ and ‘spiritual development’ and ‘peace’. If we can read spiritual literature that takes us outside of our bodies, even for a little while, we feel better. What we don’t realize is that narcissists are using those words intentionally because they know these words have meaning for us. 

The Secret manipulates people’s uncertainty in times of distress and for that reason alone, should never be considered a book about spiritual development or self-actualization. 

7-We’re desperate for an escape from emotional pain, even a fleeting escape. We may be susceptible to ‘trancelike states’. When people are in psychologically vulnerable situations and searching for spiritual relief, we don’t transcend the mortal condition, we dissociate. Dissociation may predispose us to dependency on the guru to help us ‘escape a despairing reality” and therein avoid legitimate suffering (the only way to heal body and soul). We need to be cautious during periods of loss and grief by recognizing our vulnerability to feel-good gurus. 

“False leaders keep people helpless.” 
~a comment by Eyes_Up on WoN 

If you've never grounded yourself in your body by neutralizing painful emotions because you hung out too long on the astral plane: You Are Helpless to Help Your Self. The self that must make choices & judgments from a discerning mind. Not the ‘self’ that observes life from a nondual perspective. 

8-The Secret encourages psychological regression during stressful times. Thought reform cultures like The Secret, encourage the inner child to silence the adult. Healing is similar to bouncing back and forth in a time warp. One day we feel like we’re six and the next day, we’re 150 years old in grown-up shoes facing a complex reality. Eventually, the Adult Self must take charge. Rewarding the inner child frequently ends up punishing the adult. 

The message of The Secret is more like: Kill The Chauffeur with the License and Let the Kid Drive the Bus. That means lots of stops for candy and cookies and trips to Disneyland, without ever reaching the intended destination: REALITY. 

In Conclusion 

(yea, yea, I know what you’re thinking: “Thank God!”) 

One last thing I’d like to add is that when The Secret first appeared, I nearly retched watching You Tube videos of Genies in the Sky with piles of dollars raining on people’s heads. Good thing they used dollar bills and not gold bouillon, eh? 

Violence is not allowed on You Tube. 

I guess that means if you’re visualizing being rich, it’s best to think of paper currency, not bricks. 

I hoped psychologists would respond with guidance for those who might be susceptible to delusional thinking, or escaping reality with unhealthy self-deception. Few articles appeared. In fact, some psychologists began saying similar things, even using new-wage gurus as examples of mental health! It appeared that critical thinking would have to come from people without a financial stake in The Secret’s popularity (or banking on getting their share of the pie). 

Giving psychologists the benefit of the doubt, perhaps they assumed they could appropriate healthy aspects of The Secret and keep people on track before they went off the deep end and lost contact with reality. Or with themselves. 

I’ve never found it useful to lay down with the dogs, though. Somewhere in the far distant recesses of my mind, I remember being a flea. 

I am grateful to bloggers who refused to ignore the harmful effects of a victim-blaming, isolating, regressive, materialistic, narcissistic, and growth-stifling system of thought that deceived followers while aggrandizing the gurus’ narcissism. My Resource section includes a few links for those who’d like to dig a little deeper into the dark side of the bright side. 

If you remember anything from my rambling, please remember this: Narcissistic gurus don’t empathize with your vulnerabilities; they capitalize. So ignore their tempting lies and Get Smart. Educate yourself. Recognize your limitations and be glad you’re okay admitting you aren’t perfect, or God, or responsible for Louisiana hurricanes on a convoluted-thinking day. Wouldn’t the world be a terrifying place if people’s ‘thoughts’ actually became ‘things’? 

Be aware of the opportunists in our increasingly narcissistic society and protect yourself. Because they won’t. 

As a very savvy blogger warns:
“most of us spend our lives as prey, economically and psychologically. Awareness is the key to understanding this; but once we understand it, we may transcend it, choosing, when we can, to be neither prey nor predator.” ~Stormchild
Hugs,

CZ

Resources

***I expanded on a brief list excerpted from Tobias and Lalich’s book, Captive Hearts, Captive Minds, pages 27-28

Steve Salerno, SHAMblog

Barbara Ehrenreich, Barbara’s Blog

CosmicConnie, Whirled Musings

Madeleine Landau Tobias and Janja Lalich, Captive hearts, Captive minds

Stormchild, Gale Warnings




41 comments:

  1. This is an amazing post. It's so difficult in our culture to avoid blaming the victim. I guess it threatens our foundation of the puritanical work ethic--if we work hard, we'll be rewarded. For those of us who've spent time with a pathological personality, nothing could be further from the truth. These "gurus" are exploiters. No different from any other narcissist, except that it's so much more obvious for anyone paying attention. Even if they did/do have some inside line to spiritual principles, the marketing to the masses pretty much cancels out anything valuable. Sad.

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  2. Thank you, Leslie! Maybe I'll edit and polish this post. My intention was to get my thoughts on paper before I lost track of 'em. Which seems to happen a lot lately.... *sigh*

    Oh, the joys of being over fifty!

    Thanks for reading that extremely long post and commenting. Some topics are too big for a one-paragraph response!

    I realize most internet readers want a two-minute article or less; though I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to do that.

    Maybe if I were writing about cinnamon rolls or how-to-grow-petunias. But narcissism?? It's a huge and very complex topic.

    Hugs,
    CZBZ

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  3. Several people have emailed me about not being able to post comments. I will ask google to see if they can address this issue!

    Anyway, Stormchild asked me to post her comment because she can't get blogger to post it for her.

    Hugs,
    CZ



    http://galewarnings.blogspot.com/

    Hi CZ

    EXCELLENT post. You've absolutely nailed it. They don't empathize... they capitalize.

    Brilliant.

    And, uh, thanks... *blush*

    Storm

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  4. I'm hoping I can post this comment without any problem. I don't have that problem on Wordpress (Shameless promotion and 70% off!.) I had to laugh because the narcissist in my life was always trying to pawn off his copy of "The Secret" on all those around him. He was a self-admitted seminar junkie and was ripe for the picking by anyone who promised him riches or status. He really believed that with the snap of one's finger, everything could change - always for the better. A genie goes hand in hand with magical thinking.

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  5. "If you were abused, well, you must have done something to cause him/her to abuse you." ~ CZ

    Well, abusers provide plenty of details as to WHY one is deserving of abuse. That is the core of it all and that core... if provided early enough in life is solid resource for further abuse.

    I don't think it even takes FOO to do this. culture is as much of a provider of adequate victim space as FOO.

    A person (peoples) are born into it really. An entire (patriarchal) culture whispering in pink that ones 'pink' abilities are not as important/valued as those clothed in Blue.

    Ah ... but the 'pink ability' , hot pink now days ... is of value and that is precisely what is controlled and dominated into a hole of use rather than respect and honor.

    It is a going theme to make use of the earth, mother earth (feminine). This is my planet (my right to exploit) rather than I belong to the planet/ mother earth.

    I write this in terms of the biggest picture ... what happens between humans happens between human and the environment which keeps them alive.

    Exploitive
    narcissistic

    etc...

    It is a huge equation that is destroying human fabric. The planet will shake us off its back like fleas.



    Anonymous

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  6. "I had to laugh because the narcissist in my life was always trying to pawn off his copy of "The Secret" on all those around him." ~Janet

    Well, Janet...one reason why I'm focused on "The Secret" is because there are those very persuasive people who buy into the megalomania (like bossing your own genie around) and convince vulnerable people to go crazy with them.

    I had years of arguing over 'spiritual' bullshite with people who rejected religion as a 'system' stifling their power and freedom of choice; yet bought into a system that killed their brain cells and left them without choices when everyone else decided they were nutz.

    I have an ambivalent relationship with self-help-spiritual-stuff. It can send some folks off the Narcissistic Continuum (and not in the direction of mental health).

    Had I not dealt with this issue with a spouse who got worse the more Chopra he read, I might not pay much attention to 'The Secret' nor any other new-wage ilk of that sort.

    Narcissists may be great manipulators but they are also easy marks for other manipulators.


    Hugs,
    CZ

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  7. "Well, abusers provide plenty of details as to WHY one is deserving of abuse. That is the core of it all and that core... if provided early enough in life is solid resource for further abuse.

    I don't think it even takes FOO to do this. culture is as much of a provider of adequate victim space as FOO."

    Excellent comment. A very important point to make. That's because it aligns with my reasoning. ha!

    Though the family-of-origin might be why we think, behave, and feel the way we do, it is not the only answer. We spend an awful lot of time in the society outside the home, too. and we are programmed through our media on a daily basis, even getting us to normalize behavior that is pathological.

    Plus, narcissists are highly manipulative people. They are skilled in knowing how to maintain their self-esteem at other people's expense. They've been doing it since they were children.

    We, on the other hand, might be too trusting and thus, highly susceptible to the narcissist's put-downs and abuse. Emotional abuse might not register in our minds right away but that doesn't mean it isn't registering. Overtime, anyone can be changed because of their relationship with a narcissist.

    Narcissists pick out a weakness or vulnerability and instead of respecting their partner, they USE that vulnerability to empower themselves. They really don't want you to get better like a normal partner would. so whatever issues you may have (and we all have issues!), the narcissist will intentionally use those issues to his or her advantage.

    I don't buy into the idea that narcissists only partner with codependents or people who have serious issues (like masochists, for example). There are far too many factors involved and one of them is a Narcissistic Culture that promotes the narcissist as a Good Catch.

    Yes, examine FOO isses but sometime people can blow FOO issues all-out-of-proportion because they want a definitive answer. I certainly did.

    The only thing I've narrowed down is that narcissists manipulate people's weaknesses---and everyone has weaknesses and is susceptible to manipulation.

    If we weren't susceptible to manipulation, advertising wouldn't work as well as it does.

    Hugs,
    CZ

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  8. Um, where is the test ?

    (I'm not 0ne, but curious)


    I'm on your forum, reading through thread after thread, tried to look for a pm function, which I did not find:

    so I will say here


    I thank you CZBZ for your words

    *a few almost tears*

    I feel we have similar temperaments

    so going to your forum is slowly becoming a bit of a

    feeling protected in a warm garden


    thank you
    from a Seeker

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  9. Hello Seeker!

    Welcome to the forum and my blog!

    Are you referring to the NPI test? If so, here's a link:

    http://n-continuum.blogspot.com/2009/03/take-narcissistic-personality-inventory.html

    You can use the search window on my blog to retrieve the NPI or find other topics of interest.

    I have a laissez-faire sort of temperament. Type B, not of the cluster variety.

    Even as gentle as Type Bs may prefer being, that does not mean we aren't tough when we need to be tough and strong when we need to be strong.

    People have such funny ideas about 'strength', don't they? Resilience I've got. Hostility? Not so much!


    How about yourself?

    Hugs,
    CZ

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  10. Dear CZBZ

    I don't know about these "Type B's (and A's?)" personalities ? I mean, I do not know what they stand for ?

    Could you give a short... explanation ? :)

    I think I'm tough but also very gentle, probably the same as you describe it. It's funny, to me they do not exclude eachother, a gentle person can be strong, and those are usually the ones I look up to, too....

    When you say "Even as gentle as Type Bs may prefer being, that does not mean we aren't tough when we need to be tough and strong when we need to be strong.

    People have such funny ideas about 'strength', don't they?"

    I must agree. And it makes me feel a bit sick/ly.Though I try not to dwell, and focus on things/people who possess gentleness and/in strength... but some situations throw you bang into the middle of being confronted with other realities....

    Um, I think you know what I mean

    Anyway. I never took strength without gentleness that seriously but it seems like a growing epidemic, in our growing narcissistic culture... and it really disgusts me.

    I find that strength is part of true humbleness, softness, forgivingness (those moments where the strong beauty of forgiveness is crystal feeling clarity)... so perhaps to me it always goes together... what kinds of strong are there without gentleness ? I guess one can say that that's how I define strength. I have a curiosity when it comes to look at what is generally thought of as strong, societies definitions, trends (narcissistic generations....), different perceptions.....

    And, there seems to be a certain consensus (maybe it's a also a generation thing), one which I cannot relate to in the slightest; I do think strong is always connected to soft....

    I've never really thought too much about it, I mean, not developed a clear thoughtpattern on it, but it would seem that for me strength = depth of feeling or something.

    Hope I'm making sense, it is very early and my brain is somewhat caught up in the dizziness of the game some types play.

    ....


    "Resilience I've got. Hostility? Not so much!


    How about yourself?"


    Resilience ? Maybe. But I've been experiencing too many Up's and Down's to be clear on that.

    Hostility ? I can be hostile but I think my character is more a joyous one. I'd rather laugh all day.


    Looking forward to reading more of your entries and the entries on the forum

    Seems like I can check through all things going on when going through them, just a few days reading makes an impact.

    Like a honeybee.....


    Thank you, Gardeners


    Seeker

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  11. Dear Honeybee,

    Type A and Type B is a way to categorize people in a simple manner. (People really like 'categorizing' personality types, don't we?) But people are not so easily defined...

    You can read about A's and B's here:

    http://changingminds.org/explanations/preferences/typea_typeb.htm


    I wonder sometimes if people are having a difficult time understanding how to be assertive without being aggressive?

    Pop psychology has reinforced the idea of 'asserting ourselves', especially if we have an easy-going personality style. But what does that mean?

    Aggression can be a self-deceptive way to justify hostility and pretend we're 'standing up for ourselves' by becoming assertive.

    Because Aggression and Narcissism go hand-in-hand together, some of us have been forced to examine the difference more closely than we might have otherwise.

    There is a perception that being 'soft' equates to 'weakness'. Being an old 'softie' is a pejorative, suggesting tender hearts are weak, not strong.

    You are right though, this is very hard to write about and I'm wide awake this morning. hahaha!

    Maybe this is a good topic to ponder and then let my fingers do the talking on another post?

    I relate very much to what you've written here:

    "I find that strength is part of true humbleness, softness, forgivingness (those moments where the strong beauty of forgiveness is crystal feeling clarity)... so perhaps to me it always goes together... what kinds of strong are there without gentleness? I guess one can say that that's how I define strength."

    Thanks for taking the time to reply to my question. I had hoped to hear from you again!

    Hugs,
    CZ

    ReplyDelete
  12. Let me try that link one more time:

    http://changingminds.org/
    explanations/preferences/
    typea_typeb.htm

    If this link doesn't work, go to:

    http://changingminds.org/


    Use their search window to retrieve an explanation of Type As and Bs.


    hugs,
    CZ

    ReplyDelete
  13. "You are right though, this is very hard to write about and I'm wide awake this morning. hahaha!"

    hahaha

    Well, I'm very snoozy.... probably because I make myself try to understand everything.... and as much as I can fit in.... *a snoring humming bee*


    "I wonder sometimes if people are having a difficult time understanding how to be assertive without being aggressive? "

    When I'm assertive, I'm usually playful assertive, I don't LIKE being aggressively assertive, or when aggressive assertive, there is usually a playful element there (you know, the ability to laugh at self... and expect others to, too ? *ouch* lol *ouch ouch*).

    I think when one is confronted with certain things, all kind of questions come up and one perhaps doesn't know all answers as to who one is. New answers pop up. I think that is the case with this assertive/aggressive thing. I see myself as an assertive person, yet at the same time don't see the need to always be assertive. I do think some don't see me as assertive, which I find odd, it seems to have to do with not making it a priority, which some perhaps mistake for not being tough ?

    There are a lot of questions there, questions about one's own aggression (and I can be aggressive but I don't strive to be or don't see it as something to consciously [or unconsciously] strive to be....), how aggression is seen, valued.... pictures of being more about image than person come to mind.

    I think many see aggression as a form of bravery ?
    And aggression as an instant sign of strength ?

    I think that comes across as a bit infantile.


    To me aggression is really just a last means behaviour or when my "values" are being overlooked (I'm very mouthy then)....


    So, I'm gonna read the links (thank you very much) and am intrigued what I will learn there about the differences :) I have no clue what is what.



    On another note


    Do you think certain types are drawn in by N's (and I'm not implying "victim type's", just a general.... or perhaps specific.... interest) ?

    Are they usually people who question things (or does that make no sense, in the context) and are understanding ? Caring types (as opposed to pathologically "caring") ?

    Hope those questions aren't loaded ones but I'd love to hear atleast a few views (or if you have already written things on the subjects, links ?).


    Thank you for replying, CZBZ
    Am looking forward to more of yours and the others comments and replies

    Greetings
    Seeker

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  14. Hi,
    Well, I can't respond quickly enough. I could read your blog all day! But I must stop and respond. I love this post! I totally agree, which is partly why I love it. You are a great writer too. You have spoken what I have thought every time someone has tried to get me to watch the entire thing, which I must admit, I never got past the free introduction.
    My former psychiatrist, who retired when he went a little bit insane, tried to push this on me. I thought of him frequently, while reading this post. Every person who has tried to push this on me, now that I think about it, have been rather arrogant folks.
    I lived through the 1980's and only in my twenties, I took to new-age philosophy. Then, life happened. Blew most of my wonderful philosophies up in smoke. I still believe in God, and mystical experiences. I still believe in love (pretty good I think for a victim of a narcissist)-- but this business of thinking our reality into existence, can be used against many vulnerable people. No different than being in a cult because you had no where else to turn. And for the narcs, well I can see where they love this secret business.
    I don't really even believe in karma anymore. I mean maybe, but if it is so it is for another lifetime and I'm interested in this life. I don't think some old lady who got beat up thought it into her reality. Or a child who was horribly mistreated and abused. They surely did not think it so! And finally, the victims of narcissists, well, we surely did not have a thing to do with thinking that into our lives.
    Thank you once again for writing! You have a wonderful gift.

    ReplyDelete
  15. “Do you think certain types are drawn in by N's (and I'm not implying "victim type's", just a general.... or perhaps specific.... interest)?

    Are they usually people who question things (or does that make no sense, in the context) and are understanding ? Caring types (as opposed to pathologically "caring") ?

    Hope those questions aren't loaded ones but I'd love to hear at least a few views (or if you have already written things on the subjects, links ?).” ~Seeker



    Dear Seeker,

    I wasn’t sure about ‘types’ at first. The implication being that anyone who loved a narcissist or was raised by a narcissist was somehow complicit in his or her abuse; or that they were highly dysfunctional beyond the ‘norm’ or otherwise, they’d have spotted the narcissist right off the bat and ended the relationship. I no longer believe this is true.

    After talking with hundreds of people, there are general traits most people have that might make him or her more ‘vulnerable’ to narcissistic manipulation. My response to their ‘caring-and-nurturing-instincts’ will require a more in-depth answer than a comment, however.

    Let me reply to your questions in a separate post. I’ll sticky-note your questions to my computer and formulate a response based on the truly good-hearted people I’ve met who were treated mercilessly by someone they loved.

    It’s a long answer.

    Thanks for asking! I apologize for somehow missing your comment, Seeker.

    Hugs,
    CZ

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  16. Dear dogkisses,

    Your psychiatrist went a little bit ‘insane’? I’m hearing a really good story in that comment. Ha! At least he or she retired, thank goodness.

    Believing you create your own reality as in literally Controlling The Universe, might signify mental illness or CAUSE IT because of that belief.

    Nobody controls reality. Try bossing reality around for a few days and see what happens. You either get a requisite ‘humbling’ or you go insane and retire from the psychiatric clinic.

    Many people have tolerated "The Secret" as if it were a harmless idea. Maybe those of us who witnessed what happens when someone literally believes they are masters of the universe, are less open to inviting madness into our lives again?

    The first ‘secret’ video I saw on YouTube sent chills down my spine. As in chills of horror and disbelief!

    A genie in the sky? Money raining down on our heads? Wow…I assumed most people would recoil from such egotistical nonsense.

    If people think through the underlying message of ‘creating their own reality’ and IF they are capable of empathizing with people who are in terrible situations without blaming them for having negative thoughts, they realize how preposterous it is to assume everyone gets what they deserve in life.

    It’s an infantile notion that life is ‘fair’ and ‘just’ and that everyone gets the consequences they deserve. Or that we can Get Whatever We Want if we Think Hard Enough.

    I truly dislike this philosophy because it separates people from one another instead of recognizing everyone’s vulnerability.

    It also reduces our responsibility for supporting a society that allows victimization to flourish because (as the thinking goes), victims ALLOW abuse to happen.

    This reduces our obligation to empathize with other people’s suffering or ‘see ourselves’ in their shoes!

    I figured most people would scoff at "The Secret". Which they didn’t, much to my surprise.

    Thank you for reading my blog with your heart. As many of us have discovered, 'writing' is a means for 'righting' our lives!

    It thrills me to find fellow bloggers who are also in a process of self-discovery. So three cheers for cyberspace and the opportunity we have to connect with people!


    Hugs,
    CZ

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  17. I am over fifty and i forget things all the time. I love how you can articulate your thoughts...this post was wonderful and it says what i have felt but could not put into words. Your site is helping me enormously and i am so glad i found it after all the searching i have done since my partner had an affair and i realised that he was capable of hurting me so much and always had been. Of course in all my searching i came to the thought that maybe i was the narcissist and indeed i have narcissistic traits...but i am willing to look at myself with brutal honesty and oh that is hard sometimes but i want truth in my life. My partner has told me that now he realises the errors he has made ( he would have been an advocate of the theory that we bring everything on ourselves)laughing in my face when when i cried cos my misery and weakness gave him pleasure. I will stay with him but i am keeping myself alert now. Sorry for the longwindedness and thankyou so much...you are a grand woman.
    from an irish woman.

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  18. (((((Oh, anonymous! Let me send you a cyberhug!)))))

    Betrayal is an emotionally traumatic experience, so often discounted by onlookers as a victimless crime. I have written a few articles about Infidelity after going through the 'trauma' myself and no, I'm not exaggerating. It was traumatic because I had trusted my husband so deeply.

    The infidelity didn't kill the marriage though. His disdain for my suffering is what set the ball in motion and pretty soon, Kapoot. The end of a thirty-four year marriage.

    I don't know if you have thought about joining a message board to help you get through the initial shock? You can read our General Board without joining but if you want to participate in conversations, you'll need to join our group. I don't know what I'd have done without support. I couldn't find very many people who understood my reactions. Most people just want you to 'buck up' and get over it.

    You can go here and see what you think: http://webofnarcissism.com

    We have several members who've also dealt with infidelity so we know that most people don't understand unless they've been 'betrayed', too.

    (((hugs)))

    CZ

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  19. Brilliant, brilliant post, CZ, but I will have to get in bed to read this!

    Yes! Narcissists capitalize off our sufferings, and I know this to be true personally...as many of us do. They 'promise' enlightenment, enhancement, etc...but all this is are cover words for their continued exploitation. And there are times that we think, because of our own lack of self-worth, that we deserve their obvious abuse....we have walked into it.

    It takes quite a while (therapy helps when it's good stuff....and there are many therapists who don't 'get the hard stuff'...down.) to get over these things that have happened, and they always leave scars.

    Last night I had this ridiculous dream about that narcissist in my life (the worse one...) and I turned around at a seminar and there he was behind me, and the next thing I knew was I was covered in blood. That woke me up in a sweat.

    Saw a program last night about "The Secret"...an this sweat lodge where three people died of heat stroke, under the 'direction' of this author of this book. Horrifying his attitude and behavior after these deaths revealed.

    Sadists have the same mentality as these folk: life is there for the using...other people's lives.

    That Eric Fromm quote is a good one, and that goes towards health where all these books, "The Secret" stuff, goes to mashed brains and continuing the confusion in life.

    Lady Nyo

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  20. Dear Ladynyo,

    That's a long post, now isn't it? sheesh...If you made it all the way through, I hope it was worth your time!

    When "The Secret Movie" was building anticipation on the web, I thought Rhonda Byrne and her 'ilk' would be laughed off the planet. Au contraire! This was several years ago and still, that damn book is selling well even though the momentum for 'thinking yourself rich' seems to be dissipating a little.

    On the Internet, especially in narcissism-forums, people were worked into a frenzy over the much anticipated release of "The Secret" movie. I watched it for free over the Internet (part of their viral marketing scheme) and figured people would be throwing rotten eggs at Byrnes or rotten tomatoes.

    So I have been tracking this phenomenon for quite awhile, hoping to hear the voice-of-sanity from our celebrity gurus...but no. Their self-congratulatory narcissism wins over reason and rationality.

    Unfortunately, until enough people die (re: sweat lodges, etc.) to break the 'narcissistic spell', people WANT to believe their thoughts can control their fate. That suffering people deserve their circumstances. That rich folk deserve their plunder.

    "The Secret" is the culmination of our narcissistic self-admiration.

    It's nice to hear from you this morning. I enjoyed spending time on your blog yesterday...you write such beautiful poetry that I sit in silence, just feeling your words.

    Hugs,
    CZ

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  21. Oh. CZ. Is this blog still active? These articles are so helpful, and so rare. Like you said, even therapists have fallen prey to "The Secret" type of thinking. I want to thank you and hope you will continue writing. There are few really safe and helpful resources out there for those of us that are vulnerable. Much love.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I disagree with your views on the secret. Nowhere in the DVD did I see anything about blaming the 'victim'. the point seemed to be, 'don't be a victim, take control of your life; be in the driver's seat'. I had a victim mentality for a long time, and blamed other people for things that happened to me. Maybe it was partially or wholly their fault - but me blaming them enabled me to get stuck in a loop of helplessness that put me always in a situation of waiting for life to 'happen' to me. the secret helped me to take my power back, and realise that the will, the power and ability to do better was in my hands. Applying the secret, as it was meant to be applied means that I live life on my own terms. I'm not rich, or famous or powerful. but I am happy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The point is you are part of the universe! Start trusting yourself, which i suspect is something you will be lacking after being with someone with NPD. Look more into Law Of Attraction, it takes a while to get your head around. It isn't about denial of responsibility, it is exactly the contrary!

      Delete
  23. Hi Lestat!

    On the surface, "The Secret" encourages people to figure out what they want and believe that what appears to be impossible, is actually possible. "The Secret" suggests that the way we are thinking can be controlled, that our perceptions of reality are subjective. This means we should pay attention to our thoughts because we can, to some degree, alter our engagement with the world. This is basically good cognitive therapy.

    On the surface, "The Secret" is no more dangerous than a Tony Robbins lecture "kick-starting" necessary changes in people's lives. You go to the seminar, get fired up, go home and hopefully construct a 'plan' before your good intentions take a back seat to life's demands. You're out fifty bucks or more but hey, you were entertained for a day---where's the harm?

    If you benefited from the “The Secret's” recycled ideas then great. I’m thrilled to read that you broke through a ‘victim mentality’ and took charge of your life! You were probably ready to do that work when you discovered Byrne’s motivational book and DVD. So don’t shortchange yourself by giving credit to Rhonda Byrnes amazing marketing scheme.

    I figure there are lots of people who were on the verge of changing their lives when Byne’s book appeared. They’d have changed their lives with or without giving her their money. I mean, Dr. Seuss is credited for changing people’s lives and helping them go places they always wanted to go. At least Dr. Seuss didn’t pretend to be a guru, physics genius, a special receptacle of ancient wisdom. Ha!

    I don’t mind a bit that you disagree with my opinions, Lestat. I appreciate it when someone reads my articles and thinks about them long enough to know where-and-how they disagree. I would truly hate it if the world were of one mind. Thank you for commenting!


    Hugs,
    CZ

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  24. I agree with much of what you have said above, my only question is: do you think that asking the universe to help when we are in a period of need and or suffering is foolish or unrealistic? I am struggling myself having just left my narcissistic husband of 20+years, and when I lay down at night I ask the universe for it's guidance and protection. Mind you I am not asking for riches, just for some guidance and progession, do you think this is a form of denial, or lack of personal responsibility?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The whole point is that you are part of the universe, not controlling it- It's not about genies?! or some kind of crazy cult, It is not about self denial, it is exactly the opposite. It is about trusting yourself and taking responsibility! No offence to some of the people who have commented but you haven't looked into Law Of Attraction fully which is sad because that could actually hinder someone's recovery.
      Learn to trust yourself again because I suspect that after being with someone with NPD you will need to, that is what The Law of Attraction is really about. I was in a marriage with someone who was very destructive but I did allow it. I now believe in myself and have set healthy boundaries, it's taken a bit of time to understand LOA but It really has changed my life for the better.

      Delete
    2. Hi Anonymous,

      I have seen the law of attraction used to re-victimize people. It's also used by people to offload their social responsibility to empathize with and support wounded people. As if someone brought it on themselves and therefore deserving of victimization.

      Concerning Genies giving us whatever our hearts desire, this video clip of "The Secret Movie" makes my point:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7TPoaguupQ

      It's good to hear though, that you believe in yourself and that you're taking responsibility for your life. I hope the rest of your life is absolutely wonderful...and that you never fall in love with a narcissist again.

      One narcissist per lifetime. Hey, that should be a universal law of some kind, don't you think?

      Hugs,
      CZ

      Delete
  25. Hi Anonymous!

    First of all, I am so sorry about your marriage of 20+ years ending. It's a huge loss and so difficult to accept. I empathize with what you've been going through and send you my sympathies and support!

    About "The Secret":

    My objection is the narcissistic idea that ‘we’ are in control of the universe, that we can ask genies to deliver what we want. This is what smacks of destructive narcissism to me. It keeps a person in direct opposition to the truth because the truth is: life is not predicable, controllable, nor fair. We don’t always know what’s best for us and horror-of-horrors, we can’t always have what we want.

    When people appeal to a higher power, (God, ‘universe’, etc.) they do so with a sense of humility Ego is sacrificed in the surrender of will. They give up their narcissism (control, omniscience, omnipotence) and yield to an uncertain reality, trusting they will be okay.

    Many people say that when they finally “Let and Let God”, they were overcome with a sense of relief. They sensed the beginning of inner peace…the sense that everything was unfolding exactly as it should and whatever might happen, they were strong enough to handle it. Their trust in a power greater than themselves was restored (or perhaps achieved for the first time in their lives).

    There are many of us who try to manage things our way and eventually give up, praying for God’s will to be done, not our own. Then we listen for answers…and we search for the ‘meaning’ of it all and we come to peace with our lives.

    This process is very different from controlling the Universe or the big genie in the sky.

    Hugs,
    CZ

    ReplyDelete
  26. My Ex ""N" keeps a copy of "The Secret" in his living room on the coffee table....WOW

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'm not being funny but some of the comments above seem Narcissistic to me?! Surely if someone is reading books such as 'The Secret' and works by Deppak Chopra that is a good thing no? The concepts they use are about connecting with who you are rather than the ego, which is exactly what Narcissism is about> hellooo!!! No offence but I would seriously question your own logic.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Replies
    1. Hi K. Richardson/Anonymous who-has-written-four-comments-today,

      WWDD? What Would Deepak Do? Well, I don't think he'd be very happy with your behavior. So breath K. Richardson.

      Breath in--- one, two, three.

      Breath out---one, two, three.

      Breath in--- one, two, three.

      Breath out---one, two, three.

      Now. Repeat to yourself, "Opposing opinions are not about me. Opposing opinions are not about me. Opposing opinions are not about me…"


      CZ

      Delete
  29. Hi CZ,

    I know this post is a couple of years old but I have been looking through your brilliant blog and this really popped out at me. First of all, I couldn't agree more with your opinions about The Secret. I think it applies to much of the self-help world in general. People, narcissists or otherwise, are so easily seduced by easy answers. We all want to be in less pain, yet few of us want to do the deep, introspective work necessary to understand the roots of that pain. Enter the self-help guru, promising to make it all better. A message of positive thinking and positive energy is not wrong, per se, it is just incomplete: in and of itself, it will not heal us. Used as one part of a guiding philosophy of healing, a positive attitude is good. (As long as it does not distract us from dealing with reality, anyway.) Used as a be-all end-all philosophy that you think will get you where you want to be in life, it is incredibly harmful, actually moving you further away from even the possibility of healing, of understanding, and of true self-awareness (because you think you've found "the answer").

    I have been critical, in my mind, for years about the facile nature of much of the self-help available to people who so desperately need guidance, and this applies to many therapists as well as the rest of the industry. You've nailed why: you've put into words what I've been trying to figure out for a long time now. Thanks for a great post on an incredibly important subject.

    Kitty

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    Replies

    1. Hi Kitty!

      You know how much I value your wonderful insights on your blog, so hearing from you means a lot to me!

      I re-read this post from a couple of years ago and said to myself, "Wow. We do get better at something when we practice." ha! It's a tad all over the darn place but I must admit that I was angry.

      I had been working with people who were highly suggestible to promises of $$$ and Happiness and all they had to do was set their thinking straight. What they weren't acknowledging was the 'blaming' aspect of LOA and other thought systems.

      When you're reeling in shock from an abusive relationship, you'll sell the family Bible if it'll give you even ten seconds of relief.

      I felt, and still do, that thought systems like this can be highly addictive for "some" people. One book leads to another and then another...So when other people were diminishing the dangerous side of "The Secret", I was watching the fall-out. That is why I was a emotionally invested in saying something, even if nobody wanted to hear it.

      I have been utterly swamped lately and hope that I can catch up on your articles and post a comment or two. I always feel inspired by your work, Kitty. You are so insightful and a wonderful writer, too! I'm still planning an article based on one of your posts that struck me so hard that I've thought about it everyday since.


      Hugs,
      CZ

      Delete
  30. Hi CZ,
    Well, here I am apologizing for not getting back sooner...how ironic that things can move so slowly in the cyberworld. :-) But we are all busy, and I totally understand. And I am honored and sure looking forward to your post based on one of my articles--wow! Please let me know when you get to it!

    Boy, I sure get your anger. Taking advantage of people's pain angers me, too. It's a topic that, as I said, I think is incredibly, hugely important. I love all of your writing on it. It's so clear and to the point (and not at all "all over"!) and just such a huge help.

    I also wanted to let you know that I came across, totally be accident, a great explanation of the sort of "magical thinking" involved in believing thoughts can literally change reality (such as The Secret, of course), as well as a beautifully clear explanation of how this magical thinking differs from, say, having a positive attitude. It was by Ken Wilber, whose work has changed my worldview substantially. Anyway, I'm going to do a post on it soon (or hope to, anyway), and I thought of you. Thanks for getting me worked up on this topic; it's a really, really good one.

    As always, love your writing and am really enjoying reading your old posts as well as the new ones.
    Hugs back atcha,

    Kitty

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    Replies
    1. I look forward to reading your article on Magical Thinking, Kitty!

      I have been shocked, truly, at people's reactions to "The Secret." When I'm standing at a checkout stand and that blasted book is staring me in the face, I feel an urge to pick it up and throw it against the wall. God bless my self-restraint---you never miss it until you lose it. hehehe

      Don't even worry a second about not commenting in a timely fashion after I've commented on your comment. ha...we all know how it is and am never offended even if someone never even reads my comment to his or her comment. I know how it goes...just look up-thread a bit and there are several comments on my blog that never even got a reply from me.

      When people comment on posts that are several months old, I may not receive an email notice alerting me to their comment. So I feel bad when comments stack up without any reply from me! It's not intentional---so I hope people offer me the same good faith I offer them.

      Hugs,
      CZ

      Delete
  31. I stumbled upon your blog and Im so glad I did, what an amazing amount of work. I love this article. Absolutely spot on. I see you are also interested in cults. I was in Alcoholics Anonymous for many years and that is ripe for abuse with self styled gurus who are extremely narcissistic. Im away back to read your blog and thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stumbling! I trip over my blog all the time. ;-P

      I am interested in cults and have promised to write about cults at some point in the near future. Having participated in a 12-step group myself, there are definitely self-styled gurus (like wolves in sheep's clothing). We need to know how to keep ourselves safe in any group (even online).

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Hugs,
      CZ

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    2. Yes I shared a couple of your articles in a facebook group Im on. They have been well received. Its actually a group for people who have left aa. I stayed up til the wee small hours reading your site. Its been an eye opener. Do you have an email address

      Delete
    3. My email address is listed on my "Terms of Use" article directly underneath the About Me widget on my sidebar. I don't post my email address directly on threads to cut back on the spam. If you write to me, be sure to mention who you are, or there's a good chance your email will be deleted. You can imagine the amount of spam a blogger gets if her email is easily accessible.

      You can also join our forum and talk about specific topics, including cults. Our url is: webofnarcissism.com

      I've also read criticisms of AA (and 12-step groups), comparing them to cults. My experience wasn't unhealthy per se but I only stuck around long enough to "get what I needed and left the rest." At the time, I didn't know much about pathological narcissism but I knew something was "off" with some of the members. I think the desire to be in the spotlight (even in an anonymous group) can best be described as narcissism.

      My article about the 22 Signs of Online Narcissists can also be applied to other face-to-face groups. If there is a spotlight, narcissists will be drawn in like moths to flames. We need to stop idealizing attention-grabbing behavior even when its disguised as "confessional humility."

      Hugs,
      CZ

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