TAMING THE BEAST:
|As a Narcissist, you need to take life in general and yourself, in particular, much less seriously. Being immersed in one's self and in one's condition is never the right recipe to functionality, let alone happiness. The world is a comic, absurd place. It is indeed a theater to be enjoyed. It is full of colors and smells and sounds to be treasured and cherished. It is varied and it accommodates and tolerates everyone and everything, even Narcissists.|
|Regard your condition as an advantage. I am NPD. So I write about it. My advice to the Narcissist would be: ask yourself what can you do with it? In Chinese the ideogram for "crisis" and "opportunity" is one and the same. Why don't you transform the curse in your life -- into a blessing in other people's lives? Why don't you tell them your story, warn them, teach them how to avoid the same pitfalls, how to cope with the damage? Why don't you do all this in a more institutionalized manner? For instance, you can start a discussion group on the internet. You can establish " Narcissists Anonymous" in some community shelter (despite your temporary incapacity). You can open a correspondence network, a help center for women in your condition ... the possibilities are endless.|
|And it will instill in you a regained sense of self worth, a purpose, self-confidence and reassurance. It is only by helping others that we can help ourselves.|
|This is, of course, a suggestion -- not a prescription. But it demonstrates the ways in which you can derive power from adversity.|
|It is easy for the Narcissist to think about Pathological Narcissism as the source of all that is evil and wrong in his life. Narcissism is a catchall phrase, a conceptual scapegoat, and an evil seed. It conveniently encapsulates the predicament of the Narcissist. It introduces logic and causal relations into his baffled, tumultuous world. But this is a trap. The human psyche is too complex to be captured by a single, all-encompassing explanation, however convincing. The road to self-help and self-betterment passes through numerous junctions and stations. Narcissism is the first and the foremost. But there are many other participants in the complex dynamics that is the soul of the Narcissist. The Narcissist should take responsibility for his life and not relegate it to some hitherto rather obscure psychodynamic concept. This is the first and most important step to healing.|
Freud S. Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (1905), Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud Vol. 7 Hogarth Press, 1964
Horowitz M.J. - Sliding Meanings: A defense against threat in narcissistic personalities. International Journal of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy 1975;4:167
Kernberg O. Borderline Conditions and Pathological Narcissism. Jason Aronson, 1975
Kohut M. The Analysis of the Self. International Universities Press, 1971
Dr. Vaknin has a doctorate in Physics and Philosophy. He has collaborated with Israeli psychologists and criminologists on matters related to personality disorders. During the years 1995-6 he studied the prevalence of personality disorders in the prison population in Israel.
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