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Month: May 2010

The Relationship Trap: Let’s Talk

“Let’s talk tonight,” said Callie. “Oh no, not again!” thought Darren as he gave Callie a blank stare, feeling like a deer in the headlights. Darren knew from past experience that “Let’s talk,” meant, “Let’s talking about what you are doing wrong, and about how you are not meeting my needs, and about how hurt and unloved I feel.” It was not that Darren was a closed man – far from it. He would have loved to talk with Callie about her own learning experiences and about his. He would have loved to talk if he felt her openness...

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Why Narcissists Cheat on their Spouses and have Extramarital Affairs

Narcissists cheat on their spouses, commit adultery and have extramarital affairs and liaisons for a variety of reasons which reflect disparate psychodynamic processes: In the quest for narcissistic supply, the somatic narcissist resorts to serial sexual conquests. Narcissists are easily bored (they have a low boredom threshold) and they have a low tolerance for boredom. Sexual dalliances alleviate this nagging and frustrating ennui. Narcissists maintain an island and focus of stability in their life, but all the other dimensions of their existence are chaotic, unstable, and unpredictable. This “twister” formation serves many emotional needs which I expound upon elsewhere. Thus,...

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The Many Faces of Narcissistic Aggression

Prone to magical thinking, the narcissist is deeply convinced of the transcendental meaning of his life. He fervently believes in his own uniqueness and “mission”. He constantly searches for clues regarding the hidden – though inevitable – meaning of his personal life. The narcissist is forever a “public persona”, even when alone, in the confines of his bedroom. His every move, his every act, his every decision and every scribbling is of momentous consequence. The narcissist often documents his life with vigil, for the benefit of future biographers. His every utterance and shred of correspondence are carefully orchestrated as...

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What’s Wrong with Psychological Tests

The second edition of the PCL-R test, originally designed by the controversial maverick Canadian criminologist Robert Hare in 1980 and again in 1991, contains 20 items designed to rate symptoms which are common among psychopaths in forensic populations (such as prison inmates or child molesters). It is designed to cover the major psychopathic traits and behaviours: callous, selfish, remorseless use of others (Factor 1), chronically unstable and antisocial lifestyle (Factor 2), interpersonal and affective deficits, an impulsive lifestyle and antisocial behaviour. The twenty traits assessed by the PCL-R score are: glib and superficial charm; grandiose (exaggeratedly high) estimation of...

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Narcissist of Substance vs. Narcissist of Appearance

Why do some narcissists end up being over-achievers, pillars of the community, and accomplished professionals – while their brethren fade into obscurity, having done little of note with their lives? There seem to be two types of narcissists: those who derive ample narcissistic supply from mere appearances and those whose narcissistic supply consists of doing substantial deeds, of acting as change-agents, of making a difference, and of creating and producing things of value. The former aim for celebrity (defined as “being famous for being famous”), the latter aim for careers in the limelight. The celebrity narcissist has a short attention span. He...

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