On Writing

The Narcissist’s Dilemma: They Can Dish It Out, But . . .

No More Silence

Sure, the narcissist’s many defenses protect them–but at what cost?
Post published by Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. on Oct 12, 2011 in Evolution of the Self

The ability to take criticism well depends mostly on how secure we feel about ourselves. Yet it could hardly be said that any of us actually enjoys being criticized. For it’s a challenge to avoid feeling defensive when we experience ourselves as attacked. At such times, it’s more “natural”–or rather, more aligned with our conditioning–to go into self-protective mode. And typically, the way we choose to protect ourselves is through denying the criticism, indignantly turning on the criticizer, or hastening to disengage from the uncomfortable situation entirely.

Such a well-nigh universal tendency is elevated almost to an art form with those afflicted with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). When criticized, narcissists show themselves woefully incapable of retaining any emotional poise or receptivity. And it really doesn’t much matter whether the nature of…

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