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Dec 262014


The Huffington Post recently printed an exceptional article about a new book called The Narcissist Next Door, and gave the major ways the author advised in how to deal with these individuals.

Narcissists are the kudzu of the human condition — a rapidly proliferating species that shows up anywhere, thrives everywhere and resists all attempts to wipe them out. There are a lot of reasons for that: They’re charismatic, articulate and often brilliant. They have the power to charm the pants off of you — sometimes literally — which means they breed a lot, leaving plenty of little narcissists behind. (And yes, there’s a genetic component to the condition.)

What this means is that you are all but certain to encounter narcissists, at any given time, on any given day. The question is how to deal with them. Here are five places narcissists lurk — and what you should do when you find them.


Narcissism used to be listed in the DSM-4 and previously as a “personality” disorder, separate from others. Now in DSM V it is seen as a symptom of other problems, such as Anti Social Personality Disorder (essentially a Psychopath.)

Many if not most personality disordered individuals seem to be very narcissistic, and many times also very glib and superficial, other times they come across as “know it all bullies.”

I went over to Amazon to check out the new book mentioned in the article and I found literally dozens of books on how to deal with these individuals, and of course the internet is filled with web pages advising how to deal with them. (including this one) Many sites are written or hosted by former victims of these individuals and have some sage advice from a personal stand point.


My own biological father, also a psychopath, was one of the most narcissistic individuals I have ever had the displeasure to meet. Even in magazine and news articles when he was interviewed he would pontificate that he was the “smartest man who ever lived.” In one article in the 1970s published in the Arkansas Gazette, he even compared himself to the only “man” in the world who was trapped on an “island” with nothing but “malicious chimpanzees” (the rest of human kind) he was so far above the rest of us. He actually thought that because of his pontifications that people would admire him and wish they were him. Little did he know. As Dr. Robert Hare points out in his research and writings, psychopaths and raging narcissists don’t “get it” that their behavior doesn’t endear them to anyone.

My own son Patrick is a clone of my biological father whom he has never met, but who he admires greatly from reading about him. My father out of his four children had three that went no contact with him and turned out pretty okay, and a forth that is a clone of “daddy-dearest.”

Between the article at Huff, and the plethora books available at Amazon, there’s really not much use in me adding to this supply of advice. Dr. Hare’s book, Snakes in Suits, when Psychopaths go to work  is another great source of advice to those afflicted with dealing with these people. Unfortunately, as the first article points out, there will not be a shortage of these individuals in the history of humanity, and many of them rise to the corner office, the bench, or the congress, and even the presidency of this country and of others.

The offenders in the bunch are not always prosecuted, but those who are prosecuted for felony crimes, are all pretty much high in the psychopathic traits and narcissism that goes along with it, with a full 25 percent of felony inmates (or former inmates) are full-on psychopaths. So if at all possible, this is at least one segment of this group of disordered people we need to “steer clear of.”


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  8 Responses to “The Narcissist Next Door and at home, at work, at school, and everywhere

  1. Article up

  2. Joyce, I appreciate this article because it goes to demonstrate JUST how insidious NPD and sociopathy really are.

    If one does and internet search on dealing with narcissists or sociopaths, there are literally hundreds of websites devoted to this topic. Some are absolutely helpful, and others are simply personal rants about the site-owner’s experiences, while others are run by narcissists, themselves, with an eye to make a buck or two from their experiences.

    What remains constant is that WE CANNOT FATHOM why these people do what they do. I desperately wanted explanations on WHY someone would be abusive, steal, harm, damage, etc……..I wanted explanations on HOW another human being did not have have a conscience, remorse, or compassion. I truly believed that, if I could just “understand” how and why these people were what they were, I could somehow find something positive to latch onto, and it just doesn’t exist – that positive toe-hold.

    Even the experts cannot explain NPD or sociopathy, but they can point to genetic predispositions, and environmental factors. Yes, yes, yes……….but, they cannot explain WHY these disorders exist, in the first place.

    We most certainly need to make ourselves aware of what these people really are, the fact that we cannot “change” them or “wish” them into something more pleasant, and definitely learn HOW to move away from them without feelings of guilt or shame.

    GOOD article, Joyce – thank you!

  3. I think many o f us “need” to know the “why” which of course is just a “simple” DNA + environment. FINALLY medical science is realizing what farmers who raised animals always knew, DNA is a BIG factor.

    In my cow herd back when I had a large herd, I systematically weeded out ALL aggressive animals, we call them “high headed.” My grandfather had told me that the cow whose “whirl” of hair on their face, if it was low they were genetically gentle, and if high, more nervous and/or aggressive (this holds true for horses too) Anyway, it was of course an “old wives” tale, BUT recently there has been some study on this and GUESS WHAT? It is true! As the brain forms the whirl forms at the same time, so they are CONNECTED.

    In weeding out the “high headed” animials from my herd, AND any offspring of theirs, I very quickly developed a much more gentle and calm herd, but here a while back, a WILD one cropped up from one of the most gentle and docile mothers I have. She was a throw back to some wilder ancestor.

    I think too,, why these people are here, is that at some time in the past, these traits were beneficial to the individual. They had confidence and lack of fear like typical people didn’t have and they became the leaders, taking the food from less aggressive members of the clan or tribe.

    Look back at the ancient kings, they had thousands of concubines and wives so passed on their seed plentifully. Of course not every one of their offpsring were Ns or Ps, but some were, so the cycle continues. Even today people high in N and P traits are much more likely to have serial marriages, cheat on their spouse, and in the cases of some, sire many children. I read about a man her not long ago who had 19 kids by 15 women, and of course supported none of them.

    In the case of cattle which are prey animals, that “high headed” one who would run away or fight would have been more likely to survive in the wild. Domestication has bred out some of this, but in the case of the Spanish fighting bulls, has been deliberately bred into them.

    Farmers tend to weed out the aggressive cattle, especially in dairy cattle that are handled daily, and it only takes a few generations to calm the herd down measurably, however, beef cattle are not handled as much so a “high headed” few are no problem to speak of.

    My cattle are beef cattle, but I made a conscious decision to calm them down as much as possible. It worked in the main. The more recently born wild one went to the freezer. We had to “load” her with a rifle, but we took her to the butcher and her meat is just fine. LOL

    • You know, Joyce, I think it’s an absolute paradox that it’s taken “this long” for science to acknowledge that there are simply some things in human beings that cannot be altered. And, the example of the beef cattle is a very good one, in relationship to disordered people.

      I remember how intense the information was in my college biology classes – it was all about DNA and hybridization. And, there was a section of anomalies. This was long before genetic engineering was commonplace, so we were talking about selective breeding and pollination. It seemed that, regardless of how diligent a breeder was, there would always be some type of throwback that cropped up. Sometimes skipping a generation, and other times appearing at random. It went from disposition to actual physical deformities, and nothing that a breeder or generations-old farm could do to prevent this.

      So, if this has been true with livestock, why can’t it be true with people? These things simply happen, and it seems that they are becoming more and more frequent. Now, I don’t know if it’s just because the human population is so huge, or whether disordered people have spawned more disordered offspring. But, I’ve learned that they simply ARE – how and why they get the way that they do is more-or-less beyond my expertise. And, of course, we cannot “cull the herd” of humans to remove the disordered from the population! LOL!!! I have come to accept this fact that they simply “are,” just as livestock farms have accepted the fact that a genetic anomaly is going to crop up, at various times.


  4. No truthy, we can’t “put them down” like you would a rabid dog, but that is what prison does to some extent, isolates them from the general public. Unfortunately, many of the most violent psychopaths eventually get OUT of prison.

    One of my son’s friends is coming up for parole review, he got a one year set off last year and he comes up again. I am guessing that no one protested his parole, but I already have a protest packet complete with documents to show that he has no remorse and has violated parole prohibits when he was out on parole…and I hope that they will keep him in, I got on the web site and found out he was up for review soon, so will do what i can to keep him inside.

    I think more people should keep informed and protest the release of these multiple violent repeat offenders.

    • Joyce, it’s odd but Bob and I were having a discussion on incarceration, just the other day. Parole wasn’t a part of the discussion, but how the non-violent inmates emerge worse than when they went in.

      The language that corrections departments use is so warm-and-fuzzy that it’s nauseating. And, the whole premise of “rehabilitation” is pretty much a dud. This is not to suggest that “ALL” convicts are beyond redemption, but statistically, the greater majority of them are not going to be integrated into society. It’s high time that we began using language to reflect the facts, not the fantasies.

      People should keep themselves informed, but they don’t, as a rule. They might hear information on any given subject, but they do not pay heed unless (and, until) it pertains directly to them. How many people hear about DV&A each October, and then forget about this dreadful epidemic for the rest of the year? Unless (and, until) any given matter pertains directly to someone, it’s a problem for someone else, EVEN if they are paying the costs and are unaware of that fact.

      I think that’s where the education should begin: at the wallet. How much does it cost to simply room and board an inmate, PER YEAR? How much does it cost for inmate medical care, PER YEAR? How much does a corrections officer make, PER YEAR? How much do “civilian” DOC employees make, PER YEAR? How much does it cost to parole an inmate? Etc., etc., etc…………

      If taxpayers were aware of just how much their tax dollars went into babysitting inmates, they’d cringe. It costs MORE to house an inmate than it does to educate a child, per year. Now…….if that doesn’t cause a person to stop and contemplate, then they’re lost, already. WHY does it cost MORE to babysit an inmate than it does to educate our children? WHY does a prison guard make MORE than a public school teacher, each year? I don’t give a fart in a windstorm about “on-the-job-hazards.” Anyone that chooses to work in a corrections facility has made a choice to do so – it’s not an obligation. And, teachers are JUST as much “at risk” for assault as a prison guard is.

      So…..beginning with facts, numbers, and dollars, maybe people will begin to realize that THEY NEED TO KNOW who’s in, who’s up for parole, who’s getting out, and where their tax dollars are being spent.

      Oh, lordy……I could go on a seven page rant about it! LOL

  5. There needs to be some way to separate out the young offenders who are not at risk for violence, and to actually rehab them, not put them inside to get a PhD in crime from being abused by both the violent inmates and the violent guards. I know you were married to a psychopath who was a prison guard, and my experience with prison guards is that either they were callous when they went there or being there made them callous. The prison experiment (see the Stanford Prison experiment) there’s a llink to it on the left of the screen under “prisons” in the white box…shows that anyone, given a situation where they are the guards and taught to view others (innocent others as it were) as prisoners, brings out the worst in the individual dong the “guarding.”

    Reading the stories of the torture at Git-Mo prison after 9/11 is another “study” in this where prison guards were so angry at the “rag heads” that they saw (and treated them) like an alien life form of no value. Both prisoner and guards were both changed by the experience.

    I am definitely FOR life time incarceration for some violent criminals. And I am FOR the “three strikes you’re out” sentencing reforms where a criminal who does ANY three felonies and he goes away for good. Several states have this law, but don’t use it very often.

    But I will do my best to keep Patrick’s buddy behind bars

  6. Interesting article about narcissists and why they are “popular” at first meeting but not so popular within a short period of time and why they can’t have enduring relationships.


    The article uses different terms for these “stages” of interacting with an N but good points.

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