The Narcissist In Your Life: Recognizing the Patterns and Learning to Break Free with Julie Hall


Welcome to the addicted. Mind podcast my guest today is Chewy Hall and she is going to talk about narcissism and her book the narcissist in Your Life. Giuliani introduce yourself. Hi doing thanks so much for having me. Yeah Julie L. Hall. I always throw that L. in there. 'cause I'm a little generic name but it's Yeah Julia Hall. My Book is the narcissist in your life recognizing the patterns and learning to break free from Books just came out in December. I have a blog. A popular blog called the narcissist family files and You can find my articles on psychology today writing regular articles there lately. I also have stuff it had posted in various other places around the Internet will great. Thanks for coming on to the podcast to talk about this topic. Thanks so much for having me. I'm happy to be here. So let's just jump right in. This is an exciting topic for me. I don't know if exciting is the right word but I like this topic. It shows up a lot in my practice and what I do. I see it a lot in addiction as well so let's jump in and talk about narcissism and what it is. Everyone's favorite topic today lose days. Yeah think so so tell me a little bit about what motivated you to write this book so I am a writer by trade and an educational writer journalist poet and I also come from a narcissistic family. So I'm a survivor. And I was actually working on a memoir and I came to the realization. That wow one of the major themes of my memoir narcissism and. I ended up shifting gears a little bit and writing directly about narcissism writing articles. A Lotta my early stuff was on huffpost. And I launched my blog at the same time and wrote a lot for awhile. Interviewed a lot of experts and lots of others survivors and so it became a professional journey. Sort of figuring out aspects of Li- work ray hitting four but then it took a life of its own and I came to realize it was part of my own crosses You know healing and my own processing in my recovery. I think that sounds like a lot of people do that. You know they start to write and they especially when they survive narcissism in a family structure that they are looking for answers right and you know pre Internet. There were very few books. Nervous is very few information available. It's hard to imagine now because there's so much there's really almost too much. It's everyone's favorite topic these days. And there's still a lot of misconceptions about it but yeah I in a very real sense. I wrote the book I needed to read as a younger person and many of us as writers. We tend to do that. We often do that. I think that's so common. I think that's communists therapist to we go to look for the answers for ourselves in doing that for others. Right and an early books. That was important for me was the narcissistic family by so Stephanie. Donaldson pressman and Robert Preston. And they were the ones who coined the term narcissistic family and that was a profound discovery for me as a younger person and that sort of laid the groundwork for a lot of other people to forward with treating it therapeutically in writing about it a family in which one or both parents are narcissistic and the family is structured in such a way that the needs of the children are secondary to the needs of the parents and a lot of dysfunctional. Families are set up that way. That's kind of sort of definition of a dysfunctional family but in the narcissistic family. It's their unique way their differences that are unique to the narcissistic family as opposed to the alcoholic. Family or other addicted families are religious extremism or other mental health issues. Okay well let's because we this word. Narcissism is thrown around a lot like you said and can we talk a little bit? Just what does that mean and when we say narcissistic and what does that mean. Yeah so narcissistic. You know it's often misunderstood as you know egocentric EGOMANIAC. Somebody who's extremely self-focused arrogant superior and those are behaviors of the narcissists but the underlying issues. Which are you know? There's an underlying sense of profound vulnerability. Shame in a sense of inferiority than worthlessness. That's the underpinning of the disorder. What happens with a young person developing narcissistic defense mechanisms? So it's really a defensive coping structure and a child who begins to develop those that coping style they develop at exterior kind of persona personality and the shame and the negative emotions that are really overwhelming for a young person. A young child become they repressed those negative feelings those feelings of honor ability in shame and adopt this grandiose persona superior often a bully they become John nearing often. The narcissistic personality is very domineering and competitive. It's external you know. They miss out on. They don't develop a stable self esteem. They don't develop a sense of connectedness and the empathy. They don't experience consistent empathy themselves for whatever reason because of conditional often conditional caregiving and so they although they're capable of empathy cognitively they can recognize what other people are feeling they don't engage emotionally so they're not actively empathizing on an emotional level with other people in what other people are feeling so they create a false self to survive this intense feelings of shame and low self worth and self compassion they create. Its false self that they project to the world and I guess they lose touch with themselves they dare. They were oppressed the shame. And they really lose touch with that painful piece of themselves and that externalised persona is. That's what you see. And that's what they continually try to keep in place so but it's unstable and it's something they're constantly having to prop up and so. That's where the domineering behavior comes in the competitive one upmanship. The arrogance the need to constantly compete with others. Feel better than more entitled that So. They're afraid that if they don't do that they're going to have to. Experience their lack of self worth or their shame that is in there. I guess. Could you say it like their true? Self Yeah you know. It's complicated and hard to understand where those of us who don't struggle with this in even the narcissist because that so much of what they're actually carrying around emotionally repressed so they're very out of touch with their interior emotional world and they want to keep it that way and that's why the narcissistic personality avoid self reflection at all costs. That's the behavior that those of us with healthy self esteem We practice self awareness. We reflect on her behavior. We reflect on things. We've said we try. You know we check in with ourselves and the narcissistic personality. Lloyd's that and along with that any kind of sense of responsibility for their behaviors. Well and then I would imagine that leads to that inability to those empathetic feelings because empathy is a feeling state. You know mirroring feeling state that if they can't be conscious of themselves are experienced themselves and you can't really be pathetic exactly and you can't also be intimate if you're not in touch with your own donor ability in your feelings and consistently engaging in self reflection having that self awareness you're not feeling safe and you're not in touch with yourself not to be in touch with others so that intimacy is really not there and often. The narcissistic personality can become quite good often. Very skillful at mimicking certain behaviors. That may be seem like intimacy or interest in others especially when their first in new relationship or trying to win over a prospective partner you know they often engage in mirroring other people instead of actually intimate and the mirroring can feel like someone else that I can really feel powerful like. Wow I've really met someone. I have so much in common with and had this amazing report with but then when it gets to a deeper level or really where you have deep connection that starts to break down. I guess it does an another head of underlying feature the narcissistic personality. Is this all or nothing? Mentality of everything is either good or bad. You know right or wrong. There's no gray area. There's not emotional nuance. So the narcissist tends to see him or herself as either worthless or wonderful and others as well so narcissists idealized other people that they're drawn to they initially idealize people and they do that in their romantic. It's not necessarily that. They're trying to con. You really are idealising you at first. They're certainly manipulation. But often it's this. They're caught up in this idealization of the love. Object and then eventually gives way to solution -ment disappointment when we reveal ourselves to be imperfect which we all are accepting the narcissist mindset. They are perfect and someone has to be perfect in order to not be worthless. So it's this terrible dichotomy that is impossibility for any of us to live up

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