Friday, September 6, 2013

Narcissism and the Brain

Earlier this year I presented a two-part seminar in Bakersfield, California, entitled “Impossible Brains—Toxic Behaviors.” My goal was to help people recognize undesirable behaviors in several specific categories. If this involved their own behaviors, they could choose to course correct. If this involved behaviors of others, they could take steps to minimize exposure and protect themselves from at least some of the negative consequences. The preparatory research for that seminar turned out to be very helpful during a recent conversation I had with a distraught mother. She catalogued how emotionally painful a recent visit with her adult daughter had been, especially since she regularly exhibits narcissistic behaviors. Narcissism is a condition that (according to recent statistics) is actually more often seen in males than females by a ratio of something like four to one. The condition is relatively common, however, with an estimated prevalence of 6.2% of the population. Since that’s something like one in every sixteen or seventeen people, the likelihood you know a narcissist is high. Perhaps you work with one or live next door to one. And it can be really tough when the narcissist is a member of your own family. Part Two tomorrow.

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