The Intelligent Divorce

And further unorthodox advice on relationships, marriage and parenting

The Rich Narcissist - Woody Allen's Latest Target

Do you wish that you were rich, famous or powerful? In his new film, Blue Jasmine, Woody Allen takes aim at rich and narcissistic people. Take away the wealth and what do you have? Not much. It's a strong movie; and it makes you think. Read More

This is a wonderful synopsis

This is a wonderful synopsis as well as a prime lesson in life. If only we could always remember that "Eizehu Ashir, Hasameach Bichelko". It says so much and is the antidote for these destructive behavior patterns which you summarized in this movie which I have not yet seen. Sounds like a "downer" movie. I'm not sure that I want to see it now. I liked Allen's older, fun movies when life was different. Sounds like he's at the Kohelet stage of his life. Thank you for this synopsis.


Dr. Banschick , I really appreciate your work on narcissism. Several of your statements really spoke to me: "Happiness can be found anywhere, but not with narcissists," and "where there is narcissism, there is little integrity." These statements are so true and wise, and heeding them can save a lot of heartache.

I would love to read more about your thoughts on the relationship between narcissism and sociopathy, if you are ever seeking additional blog topics! :)

Thanks again for your fantastic work.

To give one answer to your

To give one answer to your question about the relationship between narcissism and sociopathy: (There's many other relational data points besides this one.): All sociopaths are also narcissists, but not all narcissists are as far out on the selfishness spectrum to be sociopaths.

Narcissists are also abusers.

Narcissists are also abusers. 2 small examples: (there's dozens more): They rage against their favorite targets when they have a narcissistic wound (triggered by events completely non-sensical to non-narcissists in the moment), and they are charming and (unfortunately) convincing liars - deception is a form of emotional abuse.

Woody Allen took as his bride, one of his adopted children, whom he'd raised since she was in elementary school (and maybe since before then - a possibly even younger impressionable female child to his father figure).

He betrayed Mia Farrow by committing adultery with this same child, who became his lover. Adultery is a form of emotional abuse.

So, please be careful to not put Woody Allen on a pedestal of admiration for exposing the ugliness and destruction of malignant narcissism / sociopathy. Knowing the markers, he's likely one himself. (Which does, indeed, give him credible insight.)

As a culture, we must send the crystal clear message we will not enable child abusers, just because they are rich, famous, and can create insightful movies.

Woody Allen

I note someone stated Woody Allen is most probably a narcissist. I've studied this myself and all you can be sure of is he displays some narcisstic behavior. But most Holiwood Mega stars, do develope traites, very different to having a Personality Dissorder, very different.

Some aspects that go against a diagnosis are:

*He is very loyal, and has kept similar cast members etc.. through most of his films

*I just haven't seen many examples of him raging, he is under the spot light, so you'd expect some.

*His comedy displays empathy and sensativity.

*Someone with PD would collect many enamies, be difficult to work with, and have plenty of kiss an tells. But he just has this with one estranged daughter.

*If he is pathelogical, then he're realy high functioning, he's realy good. I think people just focus on one aspect - he's fall out with his ex wife and one daughter and married another. But that doesn't make a diagnosis. I think he isn't. He's just weird, but then he's in Holywood....


This is a valuable and intelligent insight.
There is a scene where Jasmine finds her step son; this after she betrayed her family and he ran off.

She implores him to care about her. As, if only her needs are important. It is a scene of anguish. She implores him to understand that she needs him and did the best she could.

The son is unimpressed. Once again it is about her.

As you suggest, perhaps this scene touches the director close to home.


Thank you Dr. Banschick.

Thank you Dr. Banschick.

Afterthought about a

Afterthought about a potential step mother / step son dynamic:

Scenario A: If the son's father (his bio father who is his step mother's husband now) betrayed that son's mother, then it is is doubly disordered thinking of the step mother's, to assume the son of the woman she helped hurt, would care for her. His abandoning her now, is karmic for that which she helped do to his mother.

Scenario B: If that step mother came about after a decent amount of time elapsed between the break up of that son's parents' marriage (and therefore his sense of secure family), and the existence of this new wife for his father, then there's much less acrimony and resentment...less disorder and prioritizing the adults' desires over their children's needs for nurture and security.

If that new wife (in scenario B - she came about well after the break up of the son's parents' marriage) had demonstrated truly caring for that son's well being for a meaningful period of time, then it would be reasonable for her to expect some reciprocation from that step son.

I haven't seen the movie and don't know the time line details of the circumstance to know if it's closer to scenario A or scenario B.

In our world today, Scenarios A far outweigh Scenarios B (unfortunately).

The disordered and selfish adults (therefore the destructive adults) do not consider the lag time effects their selfish behaviors have on their children (unfortunately).

Forgot to mention that I

Forgot to mention that I understand that Jasmine as step mom is possibly analogous to Woody Allen as step dad.

(Btw, I've found that all bad husbands are somewhat gender confused - they want to be in the poor me, wilting female role, needing the care-taking of their wives, whom they've placed in the mommy role for themselves, while they simultaneously cherry pick the best parts of being a man in our still male-favoring culture. So actually, (correcting myself to remove the gender disparaging against wilting females) bad husbands place themselves in the male child role when it suits them, and in the domineering male adult role, when that suits them. A malignantly immature spouse's whims take precedence for themselves, regardless of the harm that selfishness perpetrates on others...even their children.)

According to my

According to my research,
Women should do housework most of the time.


Uh, it's narcissist-cum-sociopath, not narcissist come sociopath. Where's the copy editor?

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Mark Banschick, M.D., is a psychiatrist and author of The Intelligent Divorce book series.


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