Psychology Today Blog

Are You Having a Difficult Holiday Week?

Five Tips for Keeping Your Sanity in the Season and the New Year How’s your holiday season going? Ready for the New Year? Are you feeling happy and content and ready to move forward? Or are you struggling this week and feeling like the holidays were less

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Faces of the Narcissist: The Critic and the Judge

Eight tips to protect yourself. Do you have a narcissist in your life? Most everyone knows one or has been involved with one. They may be in your family, work, or social circle. The narcissist may be tolerable or even charming with you until they decide to

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Narcissists Derail People

How to protect yourself from getting duped by a narcissist What is it about narcissistic behavior that leaves people scratching their heads and wondering what just happened?! A narcissist can derail someone in minutes due to their own issues. It can come out of the blue. To

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The Destructive Force of Narcissistic Injury

What is it? How does it affect Leadership and Relationship? Narcissists suffer from what the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders defines as narcissistic injury: “vulnerability in self-esteem which makes narcissistic people very sensitive to ‘injury’ from criticism or defeat. Although they may not show it

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Embrace Recovery on Mother’s Day

Adult children of narcissistic parents in search of peace Mother’s Day in the United States is rapidly approaching. It’s the time of year that my inbox is flooded with questions. What to do? What card to buy? Contact or not? Adult children of narcissistic parents begin reaching

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Five Qualities to Encourage in Your Kids

Why Values Are Important in Raising Emotionally Healthy Children I was honored to be asked to give a speech at a National Junior Honor Society awards ceremony for fourth through eighth graders, along with their parents and teachers. My granddaughter, the president, gave me the invite. Ok…touch

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The Label “Narcissism” is Used Too Loosely Today

What is the real problem with having a narcissist in your life? Is there someone you know who is extremely boastful, self-absorbed, and is found frequently taking selfies or engaging in self-admiration?  If so, do you really care? This seems to be the common understanding of narcissism

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Sibling Incest in the News

Treatment options for sibling incest. Having worked in the child sexual abuse field for 30 some years, I am continually struck with a sense of sadness when yet another family comes forward with admissions of sibling sexual abuse. Rather than judgment it is important to be aware

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Mother’s Day for Those Raised by Narcissistic Parents

Cherish your own capacity to love and provide empathy! Mother’s Day is approaching. Is it time to run and hide or stumble into a Hallmark store to desperately search for that empty card that says nothing upon which you simply sign your name? How sad, awful, taboo,

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Is Your Partner a Narcissist? Here Are 50 Ways to Tell

An expert’s checklist for gauging where you stand. The label narcissist is used loosely these days, typically to indicate someone who is vain and selfish, but the personality disorder and the traits of narcissism run much deeper than this and carry long-term debilitating effects for those involved

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Do You Feel Not Good Enough?

Are you carrying the emotional burden of a dysfunctional family? Are you constantly beating yourself up and thinking that somehow you should be more, do more, be better, and you don’t measure up in your own mind? After more than three decades of working as a therapist

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Post-Romantic Stress

What did you learn about love in childhood? With Valentine’s Day approaching, the topic of love is hot stuff. Will you be my Valentine? Will we love ’til death do us part? Is unconditional love even possible in romantic relationships? Did I learn how to love in my childhood? Adult

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Do Holiday Expectations Cause You Angst? 12 Ways to Help

Cope with holiday expectations

The holidays are not a magical wand to transform families. Holiday expectations can get us in trouble during the holiday season. Why is it that we somehow still hang onto the vision that we can suddenly transform the family into what we want during the holidays and

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Where was Daddy?

Where was Daddy?

If you had a narcissistic mother, did your father protect you? The family with a narcissistic mother operates according to an unspoken set of rules. Children learn to live with those rules, but they never stop being confused and pained by them, for these rules block children’s

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Do You Attract Narcissists as Friends?

Do you attract narcissistic friends?

How can I tell if my friend is a narcissist? I recently got an email from a lovely woman saying she feels she repeats the dynamic she had with her narcissistic mother in her choice of friends. She says she befriends narcissistic women, who then, like her

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Mothers Who Are Jealous of Their Daughters

Mothers Who Are Jealous of Their Daughters

A mother’s jealousy distorts a daughter’s normal development When I was writing the book Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers, I found that I heard certain kinds of painful stories over and over again, like themes in a piece of music.

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Narcissists Are Not Accountable

Narcissists Are Not Accountable

Who me? I didn’t do it! Lack of accountability is a pet peeve for sure, and also a common problem with narcissists. Although there are many disturbing factors in the personality of a narcissist, this one is tough to deal with in any relationship. It’s hard to

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Plant Both Feet In Relationships!

Plant Both Feet In Relationships!

Do you struggle with trust or commitment in a relationship? Sound familiar? The concept of repetition compulsion comes from psychoanalytic theory. It means repeating patterns in relationships that are similar to unconscious aspects of a childhood relationship or experience. But one would ask, why do that? I frequently

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When Mothers Day Hurts

When Mothers Day Hurts

Cultural expectations about Mothers Day and motherhood can open up wounds. Nobody wants to be a “Debbie Downer” on Mothers Day. Its a blessed and sacred institution and should be. Truly, what is more amazing than giving birth to gorgeous little ones and watching them grow, develop and become.

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Are You Worried You Might Be A Narcissistic Parent?

Are You Worried You Might Be A Narcissistic Parent?

Am I a narcissistic parent? Am I passing narcissism on to my children? What is the cornerstone of maternal or paternal narcissism? Do you worry you might be a narcissistic parent? Most of us with children hold the value that we would never consciously do anything to harm

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Will I Ever Be Good Enough?

Are you in relationship with a narcissist?

Are you in relationship with a narcissist? Adult children of narcissistic parents commonly grow up with this nagging feeling that they flunked childhood and it’s all their fault. They internalize the message they are not good enough no matter how hard they try.  While everyone has times

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“A much needed book at a critical time. The confusion that narcissism bestows on its victims must be explained in a way everyone can understand. Narcissism flourishes in lack of...

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