Quote Of The Day: Knowing Yourself

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Quote Of The Day #68

“Narcissistic and toxic relationships tend to hijack our brains, leaving our bodies to do the heavy lifting. Over the years, I have had myriad clients who spent decades contriving complex rationalizations and excuses and downright amnesia for a narcissistic or toxic person’s behavior. And then, one day, their bodies gave out.”

“Listen to your body; it tends to be more honest and it is better at sussing out a toxic relationship than your mind.”

“Gaslighting also involves minimization of feeling (“You are being petty, getting upset about such a small thing”) or abject denial (“That never happened”).”

“but children, by definition, are incredibly inconvenient. They are noisy, unpredictable, demanding at times, capricious, mercurial, and prone to tantrums, and that can be very off-putting for narcissists, who do not want to put the messy needs of other people (including their children) ahead of their own.”

“We are in the era of trickle down narcissism. It can happen in a society. When we hit a critical mass of narcissism as a normalized pattern in leadership, communities, commerce, legal systems, schools, then it will trickle down. The people at the top of our hierarchies set the tone and remain the nosiest influencers. Their behaviors trickle down to us and guide our expectations for our own behaviors and the behaviors of other people, most unfortunately our children. That’s the real tragedy of trickle down narcissism.

“Our systems reward manipulators, entitled people, and bullies. You will stand back and watch a deceitful coworker get promoted, or a pathological CEO get a $20 million bonus, or a tyrant get elected or appointed to an important leadership position.”

“Due to their own grandiosity, these parents expect their children to be great….Their parents are chameleons who are able to put on a good show for other people, which is confusing to the children, hearing their parents being so helpful and wonderful to other people, while they are having a very different experience at home.”

“There is little interest in the child’s internal world, but the physical is managed well, and sometimes very well, leaving other people thinking that the child actually has a perfectly lovely life. It’s like having plenty of food but still starving to death.”

“Racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, ableism, ageism, and all other isms are all forms of gaslighting—to doubt and defame the reality of others, to leave them second-guessing themselves, and by so doing holding on to the power.”

“As long as the conversation is about golf, or basketball, or an upcoming game or match or recital or success, the parents will move heaven and earth to be there, but, when the conversation shifts to the children’s emotional needs or vulnerabilities, or simply the need for empathy, the parents do not have the bandwidth to provide that. This can establish a cycle of guilt and confusion in which the parents are ostensibly available and publicly appear to be cheerleaders, but the children grow up feeling deprived in terms of any emotional connection. The children grow up believing that their value is in what they do, rather than who they are.”

I read “Do You Know Who I Am” by Ramani S. Durvasula because I watched her YouTube videos, which come out regularly. I have to say I like her videos better since she gives a lot of examples in the videos and presents each narcissistic term (or trait) with a little case study. In this book, however, there are not as many examples as I would like to have. And the first six chapters are quite abstract, or even theoretical.

Although I don’t like the first six chapters, I enjoy the book from Chapter 7 and onward. Chapter 7 is about narcissistic parents. And you know me: I have a huge amount of real world experiences of growing up under two narcissists. This chapter doesn’t feel abstract to me at all since I can supply all the stories myself.

Actually just as I am writing this, I know a story of somebody in our community whose body just gave away after years of binge eating and other self tortures she put her body through. She was brought up in a narcissistic family, but because one of her parents was a very sweet person, she refuses to acknowledge the fact that the other parent was a narcissist–acknowledging the reality seems to her a dishonor to her family. She also refuses to believe that she has narcissistic traits at all.

Actually a big portion of children growing up in narcissistic family have binge eating or binge drinking problem. However because many of these binges are not so extreme and because many people tried to hide their binge, most people do not recognize that their friends or colleagues have a problem.

Anyway, back to the book, the part 3 of the book, which includes chapter 11 to 14, is about how to stay sane in a narcissistic world. And it is just as interesting as Chapter 7. It seems none of us will be immune to narcissism in the age of social media. It is quite frightening when I think of it.

I wish Dr. Durvasula can talk about a dictator, a real event, a family, a biography, a crime or a company, and connect it with narcissism. I would really like to read or listen to such stories and analyses.

6 thoughts on “Quote Of The Day: Knowing Yourself

  1. When we join the practical with the theoretical, the effect is more impactful and long lasting.
    “The children grow up believing that their value is in what they do, rather than who they are.” – This is a sad truth….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I like the author’s youtube video a lot and she always has interesting things to say. Love her a lot. Wish I had known her long ago so that I wouldn’t have to be so confused for so many years…

      Liked by 1 person

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