Recently, I sat down with the people at OWN studios to discuss how to spot narcissists. We had so much to say it resulted in a three part series. Below you’ll find parts one and two.
I wasn't interested in rehashing all the familiar traits -- boasting, manipulation, unabashed arrogance -- because most people, even those narcissistic enough to be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder, won't strut about insulting you at the start of a relationship. If they did, no one would fall in love with them.
The Donald Trumps of the world are easy enough to spot, but quieter, self-doubting, privately grandiose narcissists -- well, they're another matter altogether. So are communal narcissists, who elevate themselves above the rest of humanity based on their superhuman capacity (in their minds, anyway) for selflessness, generosity and altruism. We don’t need any more books on the vain, primping chest-thumpers around us because according to research, we can spot them with amazing accuracy just by perusing their social media profiles.
But the only way to spot all narcissists, however subtle or extreme, is to look for what they're all missing. And we can't do that if we're looking in the wrong places.
Hint: It's not a lack of empathy.
In the following videos, I outline in more detail why people miss narcissists so frequently and help you recognize the strategies common to all narcissists, whether they think they're the smartest, the prettiest, the most misunderstood, or the most giving people in the room.
As you'll see, we have to rethink narcissism to better recognize -- and cope with -- the narcissists in our lives.
Because when we understand what truly drives narcissists, we empower ourselves. And when we embrace healthy narcissism, enjoying special attention, at least sometimes, with people we love and trust, we discover an even more important gift: the capacity to protect ourselves from extreme narcissists.
That's what we all stand to gain from rethinking narcissism.
Don't miss part three, airing Friday 8/7.
Part I: How to Spot the Hidden Narcissist in Your Life
Part II: How to Protect Yourself from Narcissists
“…you will not be able to put this book down.” -Book of the Week, The Daily Mail
Like what you learned? Order Dr. Malkin’s book, Rethinking Narcissism, today.
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A version of this article previously appeared in the Huffington Post.
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