In a Relationship With a Narcissist – PART THREE Narcissists at Home and in Politics

Narcissists show up in our private life and on the stage of politics. It is a more and more common psychopathology. Under the ever-present public media scrutiny, people who enjoy having the spotlight brightly pointed at them are often narcissistic to one degree or another.

The Narcissist is self-absorbed, entitled, demeaning, demanding, unremorseful, unable to feel empathy, and prone to anger, rage, lies and manipulation. For narcissistic people, only black and white exists, no grey tones. As far as they are concerned, you are either on their side or against them. That perspective has the power to split families or entire nations. It is a huge test of and call for the power of true love and peace.

I was watching a video clip of a Trump supporter shouting angrily while walking through a crowd of protestors at the Women’s March. This group was walking for equality of all genders and races, tolerance and respect. Some people, despite walking for love and respect, started getting angry themselves and cursing him, while others were able to guide this angry man out of their midst to his own group of supporters, recognizing how dangerous it is when the fires of anger are being fueled by our own anger.


An interesting thing happens when the energetic vibration of anger hits a group of people. We all have some anger inside of us and when somebody comes into our field with that vibration, we often either get angry with them or at them. Anger is a primitive survival mechanism. If we feel threatened, we instinctively go into fight or flight mode. Our primitive brain responds faster than our more advanced and evolutionary younger part of our brain. The instinctive response is hard to control unless we have embraced our own anger and are generally vibrating at the higher level of love, joy and peace.

We all have the traits of a narcissist inside of us. For children it is normal to be self-centred and driven by their needs and feelings. Ideally we have learned by the time we grow up to postpone gratification and to be empathetic with others, yet we all at times lie, manipulate, are controlling, or get angry. If we are unaware of our own anger, or our own inner entitlement, or own inner liar and so on, we find ourselves judging this person and vibrating at the same frequency with them. We are being drawn into their anger and drama.

What do we do when we have a narcissist in our environment, whether in the family or in the government? What do you do when your narcissistic ex-husband is calling your new partner names in front of the kids, your narcissistic mother is using every opportunity to put your wife down, your narcissistic boyfriend is having rage attacks, your narcissistic president is making antagonistic, racist and discriminating remarks?


  1. Do not make excuses for him or her.

Inappropriate and destructive behaviour is inexcusable, no matter what the intentions or explanations are, or what other nice or positive things this person is saying or doing. That your ex-husband who is generally a good dad is feeling threatened, that your mother-in-law who says she wants the best is jealous, that your boyfriend who says he loves you is stressed, or that your president who was elected democratically has also promised good changes. All of those are explanations but never excuses.


  1. Do not allow him or her to pull you into the same energy of anger or fear.

Do not allow them to intimidate you or destroy your peace. Stand up to your ex-husband and tell him very calmly but strongly that his behaviour is inappropriate and will be recorded. Then go back to enjoying your new love. Tell your mother very clearly that you will not stand for any negative talk about your wife and that she is not welcome in your home until she stops talking that way. Then go back to enjoying every moment with your family. Let your boyfriend know that he has to get help in regards to his temper or you cannot be in the relationship. Then focus on what you deserve and need no matter what his choice is. Have a clear political opinion and if you are called to do so, speak or demonstrate it in some way. Then go back to focusing on what you are grateful for and in how many ways your life is full of tolerant and loving people.



  1. Do not waste time trying to pacify or convince the narcissist.

Your ex-husband will most likely never admit he was out of line, your mother in law will most likely never sincerely apologize, your boyfriend will most likely not admit he has a problem until you are very clear about leaving, and your president will certainly not morph into a tolerant and respectful man.


  1. Do not get distracted by their tactics.

Narcissists are experts at creating triangles, splitting people, and blowing smoke, trying to hide what is truly going on. Your ex-husband might try to accuse you and your new partner of a whole list of things partially made up to distract from his inappropriate behaviour. Your mother in law might suddenly turn and tell you she is now convinced your wife loves you. Your boyfriend might enlist his mother to advocate for him and beg you not to leave him because he needs you.

Your narcissistic family member thrives on words or actions that are intended to shock you. Your ex-husband is trying to provoke your new partner with his shocking words, your mother might try to shock you by hinting at or revealing a secret she has found out about you or your wife, or your boyfriend might suddenly propose out of the blue. Last but not least, your government representatives might use shocking words or a shocking decision like a magician uses distraction, which is well planned out. The ban on immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries is such a shock event, an event which is unexpected, confusing, aggressive, fear inducing and throws society into chaos.

Heather Richardson, professor of history at Boston College says: “Unless you are the person setting it up, it is in no one’s interest to play the shock event game. It is designed explicitly to divide people who might otherwise come together so they cannot stand against something its authors think they won’t like… But because shock events destabilize a society, they can also be used positively. We do not have to respond along old fault lines. We could just as easily reorganize into a different pattern that threatens the people who sparked the event.”


  1. Do your inner work so you can be in a loving peaceful heart-centred energy while you stand up.

We can then reorganize into a different pattern, respond differently than the narcissist had planned. The trouble with narcissistic behaviour is that we lose the game when we are playing by their rules. We lose the inner peace and love we are capable of holding. Stay as grounded with earth, aligned with spirit and centred in your heart as you can. Take an honest look at your own shadows and embrace them inside yourself. What we have accepted in us, we don’t need to fear in others anymore. Once you have befriended all energy inside of you, you have the choice to continue to co-create a loving peaceful world.

The outer action of standing up looks the same whether we come from fear and anger or from peace, inner strength and true authority. Because the inner energy is completely different when our mind and heart are in congruence, instead of being in judgement, we can have discernment. Instead of fighting against something we fear, we stand up for what we know to be the truth, being able to come from a loving place of power instead of aggression, destruction and revenge.


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Relationship Coaching, Belief Change and Shadow Work



In a Relationship With a Narcissist – PART ONE: What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

(Please note that I have used the pronouns “he” and “she” interchangeably to avoid the awkward “he or she”)

In recent years a multitude of books on the subject of NPD or Narcissistic Personality Disorder have been published. The term “narcissism” has become more wildly known but also misused. Some of my clients have been wondering whether they are in a relationship with a narcissist, whether their spouse, their friend, their boss or another family member might be a narcissist.

I am not a big fan of labels yet defining this apparently more and more common dysfunction brings clarity to the people who are in such a relationship to understand how the narcissists thinks and why they act in the way they do. It also helps them to understand how they have attracted the relationships with a narcissist through their own learned beliefs and disowned shadows and what the best way of handling these relationships might be.

In every day life the term is being casually abused when somebody is vain or focussed on him- or herself. We are all vain or self-centred at times. So what distinguishes true narcissism from just simple vanity or temporary self-absorbed behaviour?

The term “narcissist” originates from Greek mythology. It goes back to the tale of Narcissus, who was cursed to eternally fall in love with his own reflection in the water. This was his punishment for refusing to accept an offer of love by the mountain nymph Echo.

Just as Narcissus in the Greek tale loves his own image, narcissists appear to be in love with the sound of their own voice. Their never ending search for admiration and appreciation has them going on about all they do and have. You are on an ongoing basis assaulted with their opinions, complains and criticisms. They are deaf to anything you might want to contribute to a conversation. And because they are lacking the empathy, they don’t understand that they are pushing people away through this self-centred behaviour.

Narcissists are self-absorbed and have little or no capacity for listening, caring or understanding the needs of others. They actually long for a deeper emotional connection like all of us but just cannot comprehend or accept this need due to their childhood experiences and programming. According to Wendy T. Behary, the mantra for male narcissists tends to be “I will need no one” and for female narcissists “You owe me”

The female narcissist can act not just as a controlling bully but more often than not as the victim or martyr. If you dare to disagree or refuse what she wants, the female narcissist will move from threatening to pouting, sobbing or trying to guilt her loved ones into doing what she wants.

Narcissism shows up along a spectrum. On one end of the spectrum is healthy narcissism and on the other end maladaptive narcissism. Healthy narcissism is expressed as assertiveness and self-respect. As children we are naturally narcissistic. This is nature’s way to ensure we survive

However, in a healthy childhood development we learn empathy and frustration tolerance when our needs cannot be immediately met. We learn to be securely attached to others and to trust. We learn not to blame others for our difficulties and conflicts but to take responsibility for our words and actions, including apologizing for what we have said or done.

An adult with Narcissistic Personality Disorder has not learned any of this. If 10 out of 13 criteria below apply, experts talk about NPD or overt maladaptive narcissism.

  1.  Self-absorbed (The person acts and talks as if everything is all about him.)
  2. Entitled (He makes the rules and breaks the rules.)
  3. Demeaning (The narcissist puts others down and is a bully.)
  4. Demanding  (The narcissist refuses to accept limits. She wants what she wants in whatever quantity or time frame she chooses and cannot tolerate having to wait or being refused what she wants.)
  5. Distrustful (The narcissist avoids true intimacy and is highly skeptical of the motives of others.)
  6. Perfectionistic (He has rigidly high standards; things are done his way or no way.)
  7. Snobbish (The Narcissist believes he is superior to others.)
  8. Approval seeking (He craves constant praise and recognition.)
  9. Unempathatic (She is uninterested or unable to understand other people’s feelings.)
  10. Unremorseful (The Narcissist cannot offer a genuine apology or admit she is wrong. In fact, she might go to great length to deny her words or actions.)
  11. Compulsive (He gets overly consumed with details and minutiae.)
  12. Addictive (He cannot let go of unhealthy habits and uses them to self-soothe.)
  13. Emotionally detached (The narcissist is uncomfortable with emotions. It makes her feel weak and vulnerable. Her way of interacting with others is through manipulation and control. She prefers to play on the emotions of others and control people like puppets.)

NPD rose

 Other very typical characteristics of interacting with a narcissist are

14. Episodes of narcissistic rage (When he feels threatened or doesn’t get what he wants yelling, accusing others and attacking them with inappropriate and demeaning comments are common.)

15. Violation of boundaries (The narcissist goes to great length in order to get what she wants. other people’s boundaries are of no concern to her, in fact, the narcissist might prefer to get negative attention for violating boundaries over being ignored.)

16. Blackmail (The narcissist often is very skilled at using emotional, psychological or financial blackmail to pressure others to comply with their wishes.)

17. Triangulation or “Flying Monkeys” (She will use “flying monkeys” or create triangles to manipulate and shame the other person into doing what she wants. These “flying monkeys” are people she had roped in to convince them to get involved. Often they are genuinely nice people who are trying to help; they are unaware of what is really going on, just knowing her side of the story.)

NPD flying monkeys 1.jpg


To find out  what options you have to deal with these relationships, please read PART 2 of this blog series. We will discuss your own shadows and beliefs, how to change them, and we will examine options from “no contact” to “minimal contact” or “regular contact” with the narcissist in your life.

If you don’t want to miss part 2, you can follow Greendoor to receive an e-mail notification whenever I post a new blog. All you need to do is to click the “follow” button in the right-hand corner of your screen.


Relationship Coaching