April 16, 2008


"If you don't know what healthy adjustment is, how can you ever get there? Self-actualization generally includes being knowledgeable, emotionally aware, self-directed, and at peace with the world." ~Dr. Clayton E. Tucker-Ladd, Psychological Self-Help

YAY! A website that speaks to my own heart! I read Dr. Tucker-Ladd's webpages several years ago, but his website is currently being re-organized. This morning, Psyche Central featured one of his articles: The 6 Difficult Types of People and How To Deal With Them.
 I recognized his name and followed the link to his updated website. It's much easier to follow than his former site, so be sure to check out the new & improved Psychological Self-Help.

In the following excerpt, he is describing the "Mature, Self-Actualizing Person." I think it's still applicable to what it means to be healthily narcissistic. He writes:

1. They see reality, and knowing "the facts are friendly," they accept reality more than most people. They see through phoniness, deception, and "games"--and avoid them. They cope with problems, rather than avoid them.

2. They accept themselves and others; thus, they can honestly self-disclose and forgive others' shortcomings.

3. They are spontaneous with their ideas, feelings, and actions, being genuine and confident.

4. They focus on solving problems but their "problems" tend to be outside themselves. For instance, they often have a "mission" that may be difficult to accomplish but gives excitement, challenge, and purpose to their lives.

5. They enjoy privacy, withdrawing sometimes to be free to have their own thoughts. Occasionally, they may have mystical experiences in which they become part of all mankind or of nature.

6. They resist culturally prescribed roles, e.g. masculine or feminine. They resent unfairness caused by social roles and prejudice. They insist on thinking for themselves and completing their mission, even in the face of social criticism.

7. They enjoy and appreciate the commonplace, the little things in life: a rose, a baby, an idea, a considerate comment, a meal, a loving touch, etc.

8. They feel a kinship, a closeness, a warmth, a concern for every human being.

9. They are close to a few people, although not always popular. They can live intimately and love.

10. They do not judge others on the basis of stereotypes, like sex, age, race, or religion, but rather as individuals.

11. They have a strong self-generated code of ethics--a sense of right and wrong. Their values may not be conventional but they do guide their lives.

12. They are creative and do things differently, not in rebellion but for the joy of being original and talented. They are clever, even in their ability to be amused instead of angered by human foibles.

1-"They see through phoniness, deception, and "games"--and avoid them. They cope with problems, rather than avoid them."

I got a little stuck on #1, but hopefully, I've learned my lessons well. Still have trouble coping with tasks that make me anxious (like bills, mortgage payments, etc. that I'd prefer to avoid completely. Lucky for my credit rating, hyper-responsibility always wins the battle). As far as spotting narcs goes, it's getting easier as time goes on. That usually means I have to shed a few tears, but a healthy sob-fest always clears my vision.

6-"They resist culturally prescribed roles, e.g. masculine or feminine."

Number 6 is giving me heartburn this morning. I love being a total girl-type. You know, cooking barefoot in the kitchen and fretting about how my butt looks in a frilly apron? Identifying with feminine ideals increased my self-esteem as a girl and though I've put my energy into actualizing the feminine, I had no idea it was setting me up to be someone else's property. Real people don't discard worn-out people. They discard objects. Before realizing what happened, I ended up on the shelves of GoodWill, discovering there was more of that in this world than BadWill.

Well, I never said I was avant-garde. Just a regular ol' dinosaur who is sad to see traditional roles disappear. I'm not sad about the dissolution of male and female inequities. If I have to defy my inner reluctance to speak against socially sanctioned oppression, then so be it. But as far as giving up my apron for a pair of Dockers and a necktie? No Way.



Dr. Clayton E. Tucker-Ladd. Psychological Self-Help


  1. CZ! Have I mentioned lately that I love you? Have I told you how much I care..... oh dear, I stole from a popular song -- don't hold it against me please. But... you are awesome.

    So, there I was driving back from a mountain retreat a couple of weeks ago, thinking about me and my feminine spirit -- or lack of. Me and my 'womanhood'.

    You remind me that being a woman is awesome -- and being a woman includes celebrating the 'womanly' arts.

    I've struggled with my womanhood a great deal of my life. It's left me in a no woman's land of confusion, inconsistency and dare I say it -- denial. I have been called sultry, sexy and a host of other terms that speak to my sexuality -- and mostly, I've tried to disprove them, or prove them in my yin/yang struggle to find some balance between being a woman in a man's world.

    I'm going to have to think some more on this one CZ my friend -- cause I don't own a frilly apron even though I love to cook. Perhaps, a goal I can set for myself today is to go out and fine me one of them there ultra feminine, maybe even sexy, aprons and start dancing barefoot (maybe even barenaked other than my apron) in my kitchen!

    Oh CZ -- you've set my mind and my spirits dancing.

    Love you, (even if you refuse to wear a necktie!)


  2. HA! You are so great, Louise! When you get that frilly apron, send me a picture...but not unless you're wearing clothes underneath the ruffles and bows.

    I listened to an interview with Maxine Hong Kingston, the author of "The Woman Warrior". She said she'd like to change the ending of her book and allow the woman warrior to dress in 'feminine' clothing as representation of a full reclamation of her self.

    She got me thinking about the 'meanings' we attribute to being female. Are red ruffles less powerful than a red necktie?? Only if we accept the social notion of females as being weaker than. She really made me think!

    I oughta send her a bill for my apron budget now.


  3. I have most of that. I just gotta work on the not MELDING into my companions.


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