I bet you’ve met more than a few narcissists along the way. This is the first of an ongoing series on narcissism, in which we will discuss narcissism in its many forms, most especially in the midst of a malignant divorce.
While the upcoming DSM V will no longer recognize narcissism as a personality disorder, clearly extreme narcissistic characters still exist. You’ll find these people throughout history. We can’t psychoanalyze Pharaohs and Kings who required their likeness on grand tombs and monuments, and thought themselves to be godlike. Since many ancient cultures fostered a belief in the divinity of their leaders, being a King or the Pharaoh must have been a heady experience; an institutionalized narcissism of sorts. In modern times we don’t have to search too hard to find contemporary cults of personality in the likes of Muammar Gaddafi and Kim Jong II. No, we can find instances of narcissism over the course of human history. In short, even though it may not be considered an official Personality Disorder any longer, The Narcissist is not going away.
So, where do we find narcissists in everyday life? While the eccentricities of dictators could be written off as a result of too much power or too much fame, distorted personalities of this nature do exist amongst regular human beings. Sometimes, this personality distortion can surface during times of stress, a phenomena I refer to as a Character Trap. And the heavy stress of many divorces can bend otherwise normal — albeit, perhaps selfish — people into dangerously manipulative individuals…Read more